15 February 2013

Andy Furillo, Sacramento Bee & Court Administrators Conceal Temporary Judge Status of Sexual Predator Family Law Attorney

Judge Pro Tem Attorney Gary Appelblatt Convicted of Sexual Battery Against Clients

Sacramento Bee Whitewashes Coverage

Sacramento Family Court News Exclusive
Hon. Robert C. Hight – Hon. Bunmi O. Awoniyi – Hon. Steven M. Gevercer – Hon. Tami R. Bogert – Hon. James M. Mize – Vance Raye - CJP Victoria B. Henley – Hon. Thadd A. Blizzard -Andy Furillo - Sacramento Bee - Bar Association Sacramento, Family Law Attorney Gary Appelblatt, Temporary Judge, Judge Pro Tem, Divorce Lawyer - Sacramento Bee - Joyce Terhaar Editor and Senior Vice President – Deb Anderluh Senior Editor for Investigations and Enterprise – Sacramento Bee - Marjie Lundstrum Reporter-Investigations – Ken Chavez Senior Editor-Local News – Maury Macht Team Leader II-Local News – Kim Minugh Reporter-Crime – Charles Piller Reporter-Investigations – Cynthia Hubert Reporter-Social Services – Sacramento Bee – Tom Knudson Reporter-Investigaions – Denny Walsh Reporter-Federal/State Supreme Courts – Phillip Reese Reporter-Investigations – Anthony Sorci Team Leader-Local News – Steuart Leavenworth Editorial Page Editor – Gary Reed Forum Editor – Dan Morain Senior Editor – Sacramento Bee – Ginger Rutland Associate Editor – Foon Rhee Associate Editor – Brian Blomster Online News Editor - Elaine M. Howle State Auditor Bureau of State Audits - Victoria B. Henley Director Chief Counsel Commission on Judicial Performance – Steven Jahr Administrative Director of the Courts - Phillip J. Jelicich Principal Auditor Bureau of State Audits - Janice M. Brickley Legal Advisor to Commissioners Commission on Judicial Performance - Judicial Council and Court Leadership Services Division Jody Patel Chief of Staff - Doug D. Cordiner Chief Deputy State Auditor Bureau of State Audits - Bradford L. Battson Senior Attorney III Commission on Judicial Performance - Judicial and Court Operations Services Division Curtis L. Child Chief Operating Officer – Donna L. Neville Staff Counsel IV Bureau of State Audits- Sei Shimoguchi Senior Attorney III Commission on Judicial Performance - Judicial and Court Administrative Services Division Curt Soderlund Chief Administrative Officer - Sacramento Federal Court Eastern District of California – United States Courts, US District Court Sacramento, Judge William B. Shubb, Judge Edmund F. Brennan, Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr, Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, Judge Morrison C. England Jr, Judge Gregory G. Hollows, Judge John A. Mendez, Judge Kendall J. Newman, Judge Troy L. Nunley, Judge Allison Claire, Judge Dale A. Drozd, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner, Judge Kevin R. Culhane – Hon. Kevin R Culhane – Judge Kevin Culhane -
The criminal defense lawyer for Judge Pro Tem Gary 
Appelblatt argued that the alleged sexual battery by 
his client was consensual.

The first sexual battery victim of Sacramento Family Court Temporary Judge Gary Appelblatt contacted the Sheriff's Department on Feb. 17, five years ago today. 

The then-prominent Sacramento Bar Association Family Law Section attorney ultimately was charged with 13-criminal counts including sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object. The victims were Appelblatt's divorce clients and potential clients.

"[A]ppelblatt invited the clients into his American River Drive law office and drew the blinds. He shooed out any visitors and locked the door. Then, testimony showed, the 57-year-old divorce lawyer moved the women over for physical exams on what the judge described as the attorney's 'convenient couch.' Some had their tops removed, and he reached into the pants of some of the other women...[Deputy District Attorney Keith Hill] said the lawyer's perversions took advantage of weakened victims who sought his professional services at 'terrible emotional' times in their lives," Sacramento Bee reporter Andy Furillo wrote in 2008

In 2008 and 2009 the Bee published four stories about the Appelblatt case - three with the byline of Furillo - a veteran reporter on the courthouse beat. None of the stories disclosed that Appelblatt held the Office of Temporary Judge

To continue reading, click Read more >> below...

"Furillo has a history of avoiding or whitewashing coverage of corrupt judges, court officials and lawyers in exchange for insider access and courthouse story leads. He writes over 200 stories a year, and you can't do that kind of volume without an army of sources," said family court watchdog Ulf Carlsson

"It's unethical but he gets away with it because his wife, Deb Anderluh, is one of his bosses at the Bee. Furillo was going to bury the Appelblatt story until the T.V. stations made it public and he had to write something, so he portrayed Appelblatt as just a rogue attorney, and covered up his status as a judge pro tem," Carlsson asserted. "Look at the [court whistleblower] Emily Gallup case. Furillo ignored the Gallup lawsuit - including the week-long trial and $313,000 verdict - which went on for more than a year in Sacramento County Superior Court. The government did not want that case in the news, and Furillo made sure it wasn't." 

Furillo and the Bee also ignored the 2011 disbarment of family court temporary judge Scott Kendall. Kendall was disbarred for advising clients to break the law, acts of moral turpitude, incompetence, withdrawing from representation of a client without court permission, and failure to communicate with clients. Click here for our exclusive report on the Kendall case. The national family law website, familylawcourts.com also has called out the Bee and its reporters for protecting judges by refusing to identify them in its rare coverage of controversial cases. Click here and here.     

Five years after Gary Appelblatt's first victim contacted the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Sacramento Family Court News is first to report that the family law attorney also served as a judge pro tem.  

Double-Discount Offered for Threesome

For one female client, the attorney and temporary judge allegedly offered a double-discount if the client arranged a threesome. "Appelblatt offered to reduce her bill by $5,000 if she would have sex with him. He said he'd drop the price even more if she would talk a girlfriend into joining them," the Bee reported in 2008. 

United States District Court Eastern District of California – Sacramento Federal Court – United States Courts - Judge William Shubb - Judge Edmund Brennan - Judge Garland Burrell Jr - Judge Carolyn Delaney - Judge Morrison England Jr - Judge Gregory Hollows - Judge John Mendez - Judge Kendall Newman - Judge Troy Nunley - Judge Allison Claire - Judge Dale Drozd - Judge Lawrence Karlton - Judge Kimberly Mueller – Office of the United States Attorneys Benjamin B. Wagner Eastern District of California, Judge Robert Hight – Judge Bunmi Awoniyi – Judge Steven Gevercer – Judge Tami Bogert – Judge James Mize – Vance Raye - Victoria Henley CJP - Judge Thadd Blizzard -Sacramento County Superior Court, Andy Furillo, Sacramento Bee, Family Court - Sacramento County Bar Association – Family Law Section – Executive Committee –  Family Law Executive Committee - divorce - FLEC – family law lawyer Russell Carlson Chair – Carlson and Gevelinger – alimony – family law lawyer Elaine Van Beveren Vice Chair – Attorney at Law – Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group – spousal support -  family law lawyer Fredrick Rick Cohen Treasurer – Law Offices of Fredrick S. Cohen – child custody – family law lawyer Paula D. Salinger Secretary – Woodruff, O’Hair, Posner and Salinger, family law lawyer Kristine Cummings – Law and Mediation Office of Kristine S. Cummings - Neighborhood Christian Lawyer – family law lawyer Michael Jonsson – Sacramento Divorce Solutions – family law lawyer Judith Winn – Law Offices of Winn and Winn – family law lawyer Jeff Posner – family law lawyer Mary C. Molinaro – Bartholomew and Wasznicky -
Andy Furillo, veteran court reporter for the Sacramento Bee, 
omitted from his coverage attorney Gary Appelblatt's status as a 
temporary judge.
The criminal prosecution of Appelblatt ended on Aug. 17, 2009 when a plea bargain was arranged by Appelblatt's lawyer. The family court temporary judge pleaded no contest to four criminal counts - including sexual battery - of the original 13-count complaint. 

The State Bar suspended Appelblatt from practicing law in an order dated Oct. 23, 2009. The judge pro tem attorney was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Judge Gary E. Ransom and immediately taken into custody on Nov. 3, 2009. 

In May of the following year, the Bar recommended that Appelblatt be summarily disbarred. The lawyer was officially disbarred on Sept. 24, 2010. Although required to register as a sex offender, Appelblatt apparently has taken advantage of a legal loophole that lets some offenders apply to have their name excluded from the Megan's Law online database. Appelblatt's name does not appear in the database.

Nancy Appelblatt, a doctor and the attorney's wife, filed for divorce in the Summer of 2007, about six months before the Sheriff's Department began investigating the temporary judge, according to court records. To prosecute her divorce, Dr. Nancy Appelblatt retained judge pro tem attorney Nancy Perkovich

In Oct. 2012 Sacramento Family Court News reported on temporary judge attorneys, including Perkovich, who were unlawfully using for promotional purposes their status as part-time, temporary judges

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Related Content: 
  • For other articles about temporary judges, click here.  
  • For the SFCN exclusive list of family court attorneys who also serve as temporary judges, click here
  • For information about the process to become a judge pro tem, click here
  • For more articles about the issues, court officials and people in this post, click on the corresponding labels below.