Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ASFCME: Correcting the Record

It is important that the AFSCME Membership know the facts about the conduct of their "attorney" with respect to the deposition of former Personnel Director Paula Kelly. The word "attorney" is in quotes for reasons that follow.

Some time ago, I wrote that she didn't appear for it and that is a fact. However, in response to a comment by Paula Kelly, Union VP Martha Sanford wrote, "As for attending [the] deposition the Town Attorney could have given the Union adequate time to make arrangements. He called our Rep and not our attorney and that was only about twelve hours in advance."

Section 13-27 of the Practice Rules requires 5 days notice to an adversary prior to the taking of a deposition. The Notice of the May 7, 2007, Deposition was received by AFSCME "Attorney" Victoria Lynn DeFrank by fax on May 2, 2007. Five days, as required.

The Record discloses that Ms. Frank did not appear at the scheduled time. After waiting for her for some time, the Town's Attorney, Scott McCarthy, called Ms. DeFrank's office and left a message for her that he, Paula and the Court Reporter were waiting for her.

The Record further discloses that someone from Ms. DeFrank's office called back within five minutes and told Mr. McCarthy that she would not attend the Deposition.

But here's a curiousity. A check of the on-line directory of Connecticut Attorneys discloses that no one named "Victoria DeFrank" is admitted to the Connecticut Bar. However, a woman named Victoria Lynn D. DeFrank was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar on December 1, 1989, having an address at 87 Maplewood Avenue in West Hartford.

It is a very serious issue for an attorney to practice law without a license. Attorneys who are not admitted in a particular State but may be engaged in activity that might cause confusion about that status are required to disclose that fact. Referring to Ms. DeFrank as AFSCME's "counsel," it appears from the record that Mr. McCarthy was led to believe that she is licensed in Connecticut.

Ms. DeFrank's lack of a Connecticut license explains why she is listed on the AFSCME site as a "Staff Representative" and why an attorney who is licensed in Connecticut represented the Union at the State Hearing.

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