Grist for the Mill: New Jersey Star Ledger missing from Federal Court hearing on hospital

A hearing on the matter of the sale of Hoboken’s in limbo hospital was held on Tuesday but no reporter attended and that includes the New Jersey Star Ledger which has been critical about the circumstances of the sale.

At the hearing, the judge made several blistering rulings on the controversial lawyer, Donald Scarinci who had his side of a story solely noted in a Star Ledger piece of all places.

That hearing did not go as the Star Ledger story might have you believe.  MSV has culled from a number of sources on background what took place in Tuesday’s Federal Court on the bankruptcy proceeding of the hospital and its numerous creditors.

It’s rare for a lawyer to be publicly admonished for acts unbecoming but here’s what the Star Ledger missed in its absence:

  • It was the Hospital’s management arm, HHI initiating the action
  • Scarinci saw the judge act on a basic tenet of law: attorney-client privilege
  • The judge did not take well to the violation of the above
  • The judge ruled Scarinci can not work with creditors of the hospital (for pay or otherwise).
  • Scarinci can not speak to the attorneys representing creditors of the hospital
  • Scarinci was ordered to turn over HHI files he held in possession “on the spot” – right in front of the judge in court.

The claim by Donald Scrarinci he resigned is not a universally accepted fact either among MSV sources – to put it kindly.

As there are many attorneys who read MSV regularly, they can tell you what the potential penalties are for violating attorney-client priviledge, but let’s say they aren’t pretty.

Who was the lawyer representing Donald Scarinci at the hearing?  Word is it was a lawyer from his law firm.  The same firm also happens to be doing business with the City of Hoboken.  Can you say conflict?

If all accurate, what kind of lawyers behave this way and will the Star Ledger get to those facts any time soon?  They have missed a major development in the story.

For a Federal Judge to act so decisively in a hearing, the grounds must be very strong and it looks like HHI won this one going away.  But it’s not likely to end there for Donald Scarinci, the long time friend of Senator Bob Menendez who has let’s say a colorful and checkered history.

The decisive action on how the bankruptcy will proceed is still ahead scheduled for next Wednesday.

Talking Ed Note: This hospital sale faces obstacles but the credibility of the hospital board who has worked tirelessly to save the hospital isn’t one of them.  While they won’t discuss the details with MSV and speak on the matter, people who are familiar with the legal chatter can.

Perhaps the Star Ledger will catch up to their own story.  

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