Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Is Coming


  • A grand jury is hearing about the Susan Winters case. [RJ]
  • Is Linda Graham implicated in the missing millions too? [RJ]
  • The Legislature allegedly approved a deal for Faraday Future without any knowledge of the company's finances. [Jalopnik]
  • Here's the latest on the trademark rejection of the Vegas Golden Knights. [IPWatchdog]

75 comments:

  1. "...he said Linda Graham, who has worked in his estate law practice over the years, had no access to the client accounts"

    Uh huh

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  2. But he also indicated that she lives in Colorado (where there is a different office) and we heard that the MIL is the bookkeeper. Sturman's comments that Graham doesn't understand Trust Accounting seems obvious. In a Trust Account case, Graham's statement that the Court should protect the employees and their spouses before protecting the clients showed where Graham's interests lay and still lay: getting as much money out of that firm at client expense as possible. I don't know who edited that Affidavit but they made a gaffe.

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    1. Graham had numerous "bookkeepers" over the years who handled payables. MIL handled payroll, receivables, and billing.

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  3. Does anyone know where we can see a copy of this Affidavit? I looking for court records but cannot find anything.

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    1. I've been looking as well, but can't seem to locate it. If anyone comes upon it, please post it or direct where e can see it.

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    2. It's under the Estate of Macknin, filed Monday or Tuesday as "Notice of Documents." It's a long and boring read. I couldn't finish it.

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    3. can someone post it?

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    4. It is indeed a long and boring read, replete with much whining. But here it is: http://imgur.com/a/h7YpZ

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    5. There were two 'Notice of Documents'. Here are both of them:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/274653189/Graham1.pdf
      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/274653189/Graham2.pdf

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    6. Wow! He actually is brazen enough to call out Ms. Macknin as the "star of the stage". How completely shameless is that?

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    7. I am sorry, what is the stop work order for Harker? I missed it.

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  4. Right - Estate of Michael Macknin - it's actually filed as its own independent Affidavit in Opposition of ex parte petition for TRO;

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  5. Violins. Violins. Linda Graham was forced to move out of her home due to threats but I thought the Affidavit states that she has lived out of state for 15 years?

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    1. I feel genuinely bad for his kids. He has two daughters at home and a son on a mission. They are innocent. I suspect the mission leadership will rally around his son, and I hope others will be there for his kids. If there truly have been death threats against the kids, that's just hideous.

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    2. No question about it. Death threats against his kids are ridiculous. Death threats against ANYONE (including Graham) are out of line. I know an attorney who went through the criminal justice system (no client money involved; no victims) and received death threats at home and had their home address and pictures of their home broadcast on the Internet.

      While its not right, unfortunately we are a society where torches and pitchforks are routinely handed out. If Graham did not warn his family that this was coming down (as it seems that he did not warn his staff or clients), then all the further shame on him.

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    3. Her home is in Fort Collins, not in Nevada. I have friends in Fort Collins that heard the news about Rob.

      I also feel horrible for kids. I cannot imagine what is would be like serving a mission knowing that you will never see your father again outside of prison. I don't know how his son could continue emotionally, even thought staying where he is would probably be the best thing for him.

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    4. If you're the mission president, how do you break that news?

      Maybe the kid will use this as a catalyst to becoming his own man. Missions do that without a crisis, maybe this creates a giant of a man in the son.

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    5. I am not certain that that is true. Depending on the path which Graham takes, he could remain at liberty pending resolution of any criminal charges (although his Affidavit discusses the District Attorney and seems to ignore the chance that the US Attorney gets involved).

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    6. "All missionaries who have a father who didn't steal his clients' money, step forward. Not so fast, Elder Graham!"

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    7. Boy, I really wish we could see the real identities of these comments.

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    8. I have a friend whose father was an attorney and went through this just before the friend left on his mission. The father stole client money (much less than this) and was sent to prison. The mother filed for divorce and then raised a big group of kids on her own. This guy, and all of his siblings, turned out great and are all good members of society. Even his dad was able to move on after getting out of prison, got re-married, got a job (obviously not a lawyer anymore) and lived out his life.

      It will be tough, but people are resilient.

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    9. Obviously, threats to the safety to him or family members is outrageous and cannot be tolerated. But that aside, forgive me if I don't shed tears for these immediate family members who are supposedly all so wonderfully pious and heavily involved in their church, etc. Rob Graham himself was supposedly so wonderfully pious and heavily involved with his church as well, and would regularly opine on his ultra-conservative, family values belief system. Emphasizing all those points does not really generate sympathy for the family members, all of who must have benefitted to some degree from the pilfered millions(13 million and counting). It is ludicrous beyond measure to argue that this total amount(which is likely to exceed 20 million before it was all over) was only used to float the monthly over-head. If the overhead(including when he advertised heavily) reached as high as a reported $160,000. per month, it is presumed that some of that would be covered from incoming money from clients. And the part that was not covered by paying clients, would have been paid from the pilfered millions, without really putting a dent in the 13 million. This 13 million could pay his inflated $160,000. per month over-head for the next eight years, even if he did not bring in another dime from clients. So, it's absurd to think he merely got desperate to make over-head each month and that he gradually took out enough from the trust account each month to cover the short fall between what he received from clients that month and the $160,000. monthly nut. So, millions and millions are obviously stashed away somewhere, and he and his wonderful family presumably all benefitted from it in terms of greatly enhanced lifestyle. So, all my sympathy is to his clients, many of who have their lives utterly destroyed. Forgive me if I don't shed tears for his family. I don't want to discuss how we all really hope his family will "bounce back", which they will. But very few of his clients will "bounce back". His actions have subjected many of them to be in abject misery, and often without critically needed medical care, for whatever remains of their lives.

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    10. Absolutely 5:24. Weeping that his family might have to sell their Million Dollar home in Ft. Collins and the properties that he has liquidated here in Las Vegas.

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  6. One issue, among many, is that his wife was listed on his website as a "partner." At least in terms of civil liability, this presents a problem, not just for her but for anyone else who was similarly held out to the public.

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    1. "Partner" is a meaningless title anymore. It doesn't necessarily mean equity, or management or anything. The title "partner" is the Participation Trophy of legal practice. Eventually, everyone gets it just for showing up.

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    2. Exactly right. Partner in law means you have a hand in the business operations and benefiting from the earnings of the firm. Partner in marriage means you are implicated as having a hand in the marital operations and benefiting from the community property and interests. They claimed she was not only a partner but is listed in the LV Legal Directory as a partner in the Las Vegas Office.

      If you want to disavow it after the fact, you are basically saying "Don't tar me for misrepresenting my status as a partner for 15 years; believe me now!"

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    3. @ 11:50-- Meaningless to who? Not meaningless to all of those clients were led to believe that she was a partner in all of the business activities of LawyersWest. "Partner" has a legal meaning under Title 7 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Nobody made her take that title. Nobody other than the Grahams held her out there as being a Partner. You want me to believe that for 15 years she did not know that she was being held out as a partner in the LV Office of LawyersWest? Bullshit. She is active with the State Bar of Nevada which would indicate to me that she knew that she was still being licensed to practice law through LawyersWest--Las Vegas.

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    4. Gina Bongiovi does not know what a partner means, but she is a super lawyer.

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    5. 11:47 here. It is the "holding out" to the public that creates the issue, regardless of what the reality is. And the same issue could potentially exist with other "partners" he had over the years once these creditors start looking for assets.

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  7. Is Linda implicated in the missing millions? Maybe not. Is Linda living off of the missing millions? Uhhhhhhhhh. Are the kids benefitting from the missing millions of other peoples' money? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

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    1. Keep the kids out of it! Sure they likely benefited, but definitely not knowing. Linda may not have known that her vacations, mortgage, car, other expenses were paid with funds from Peter who borrowed from Paul, who had to take money from a bunch of others. But I don't think she should be exempt from any investigation into her knowledge and/or her obligation as a partner.

      AND remember, that it could also be determined that these clients were ultimately paying the salaries of employees, rent for their law offices, travel expenses for Graham to fly back and forth twice a week from Ft Collins to Las Vegas. So - lots of people benefited from the funds sitting in trust - but unknowingly.

      OH AND I FORGOT: It's likely the Mormon Church benefited as well from tithing!

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    2. I really hope that when the Mormon Church learns of Mr. Graham's conduct for the last decade or so -it refunds the tithing money to the client trust account - or whatever account is being set up for the benefit of the Graham's victims.

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    3. Objection. Assumes Graham paid tithing.

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    4. MO(ney laundering) R(egime) M(aking) O(bvious) N(exus)....

      Connect the dots.

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    5. So are you saying Mormons are generally money laudering, ponzi scheming frauds like Mr. Graham? You're a special kind of bigot aren't you?

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    6. @7:14-- Did your church give out paint chips instead of communion wafers? This is not a secret. Due to the presence of the church, Utah is the home of affinity fraud in which your fellow brethren both are more likely to commit Ponzi schemes and more susceptible to fall victim to Ponzi schemes. This is not new news.

      http://www.pyramidschemealert.org/PSAMain/news/UtahScamState.html

      http://www.economist.com/node/21543526

      http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/opinion/50306723-82/fraud-mcadams-utah-affinity.html.csp

      http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865665746/Utahs-fraud-epidemic-Victims-share-anger-embarrassment-hurt.html

      Yep. The Economist, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, KSL-- we are all just a bunch of bigots.

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    7. Definition of bigot. : "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance." Seems the Church of Latter Day Saints has been considered more of a "cult" than a racial or ethnic group - so in this case - I wouldn't call anyone guilty of bigotry.

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    8. It's a religous group - so you are going to split hairs and defend someone making general outlandish accusations against an entire group of religious people. Substitute the word "Mormon" for "Jew" - how does that sound?

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    9. "Did your church give out paint chips instead of communion wafers?" I'm Mormon, but that's funny.

      Also, the correct answer is Wonder Bread.

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    10. And lime jello.

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    11. @10:08-- It is not outlandish accusations against a whole group of people. The FBI and US Attorney have talked at length about the heightened frauds that occur within the LDS Church and Communities. You seem more offended that people know that this is happening by and to Mormons than in stopping it. Rather than being offended that your neighbors complain that your house is dirty, maybe spend more of that energy cleaning up your house.

      As far as how does it sound, nonsense. "The Mormon Holiday of Channukah." Nope. "The six million Mormons slaughtered during the Holocaust". Nope. Did Madoff go after a predominantly high number of Jewish victims? He did. Did Allen Stanford prey on a higher proportion of evangelicals and Baptists than other people? Yes. But the LDS Community has it happen over and over and over. Be so offended that you stop it.

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    12. Like I have the power to stop it. Are you freaking serious?

      Fraud is a problem everywhere. Here's a list of examples of fraud committed by Jewish people beyond Madoff. Even with that - I would NEVER say anything like "He's a Jew! Of course, he would commit fraud!"

      https://wideawakegentile.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/the-jew-scam-list/

      While fraud certainly is a problem in Utah as the articles suggest, to imply that committing fraud is an inherent value of Mormons is short of bigotry. So there. You are a bigot sir.

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    13. This is a dumb conversation.

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    14. Only starting at

      AnonymousDecember 15, 2016 at 6:39 PM
      MO(ney laundering) R(egime) M(aking) O(bvious) N(exus)....

      Connect the dots.

      What a loser.

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    15. No one said all Mormons commit fraud. In fact what the articles suggest is that the LDS Community, by being so insular, makes people more susceptible to fall for scams and frauds because they believe that they would never be ripped off by their brethren, when the truth is that they are more likely to be ripped off by their brethren than anyone else.

      No one says the Church causes more fraud; however only the blindest of the blind would not notice that there is a higher prevalence in your community. The perpetrators come from your community in a higher percentage; the victims come from your community in affinity fraud in a higher percentage. Pious indignation in the face of irrefutable statistics and facts just makes you look like another brainwashed clone susceptible to the next MLM scam.

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    16. 12:10 PM - your assessment of fraud amongst Mormons is absolutely correct. But that's not what the bigot at 6:39PM implied when he said "MO(ney laundering) R(egime) M(aking) O(bvious) N(exus)". That was nothing less than a vicious attack against Mormons in general.

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    17. For the love of Zelph, please stop this conversation!

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  8. Linda purchased a home in Ft. Collins in July 2014 for $955K (in her name only). Interestingly, the home went on the market in late November(i.e., shortly before Rob Graham closed shop). Per zillow (I know, I know, not exact) estimated value is $1.2MM, but the asking price is only $1MM - which would imply a motivated seller.

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    1. Ouch. Someone is going to throw them into BK I would presume?

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    2. Someone just did.

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    3. The home never went on the market. Zillow "Make Me Move" or "For Sale By Owner" is hardly a listing. Have you seen the photos of that house? Talk about a DOG! I'll bet they way over paid for it and praying that the hot market in Colorado will net them a little extra if sold. Zestimate for $1.2MM... I would say NOT even close. Look at recent sales cost per sf on brand new custom homes in that zip code. Pipe dream to consider its worth more than the recorded sales price.

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  9. Anybody heard anything from Ryan Mendenhall lately? Heard he abandoned his practice. The State Bar has no address listed for him. Not sure if he is still around or if we should just serve his clients directly.

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    1. He moved to Washington

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    2. Still counsel of record in a number of cases. Might want to withdraw from those or tell your clients that they are facing Motions to Compel and sanctions for the discovery served on them.

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  10. Both the Harker Stop Work Order and Nelson Cohen Petition before the Nevada Supreme Court never got any follow-ups so perhaps they were not true.

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    1. Case No. 71846 (Confidential) IN RE: DISCIPLINE OF NELSON COHEN - CONFIDENTIAL. Petition filed 12/8/16.

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    2. Whether it's there or not anymore, there was definitely a stop work order on Harker's door the other day. Potential client brought me a photo of it asking for help. Was posted by the Department of Business and Industry. May have been a code violation? Licensing problem? Phone resolution wasn't that great.

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  11. Yeesh....Graham is coming off more and more as a real piece of crap. Nice little interview he gave waxing on about employees and people he cared about and forgiveness and he's living in a million dollar home? I wonder how many of his clients he ripped off are living in million dollar homes?

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  12. Graham gets an Involuntary 7 BK filed by Jerry Gordon.

    16-16655 ROBERT C. GRAHAM, LTD.
    Case type: bk Chapter: 7 Vol: i
    Date filed: 12/15/2016 Date of last filing: 12/15/2016

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    1. The "star of the show" is one of the folks forcing the involuntary BK.

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  13. It would be cool if they could claw back tithing for a victim fund.

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    1. Unless their tithing exceeded 15% of their gross annual income, then it is specifically excluded as a fraudulent transfer under 11 USC 548(a)(2) allowing a turnover motion or clawback of the funds. If, however, the BK trustee could trace the donations directly to the trust account (e.g. transfer $5k to operating, transfer $5k to church), then the trustee would have at least a position that they were donating someone else's money that they stole or converted and try to get it back. Good luck to the trustee though trying that argument.

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    2. All of which assumes that, after lying to his clients, lying to his partners and lying to the Bar, Rob actually paid anything instead of lying and saying, "I paid directly to church HQ."

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    3. who is the Trustee?

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  14. "I paid directly to church HQ." LOL.

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  15. This saddens me more and more...what he & Linda became, because not for a second do I believe Linda had no idea. If anyone 'knew' Linda & Rob personally, there's no way she would take a back seat. Part of the problem was not his allegations that he just "skimmed" $160,000 monthly off the top for advertisement, but he has always wanted to be like the downtown LA lawyers; appearances in that office were everything as well as phony. They had to keep up with the Jones' and you can't keep up with the Jones, who live in LA, pull in a pretty nice salary, when we're all schlepping here in Vegas...notwithstanding the UT and CO offices.

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    1. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

      This is exactly what drove to do what Graham did - keeping up with the Joneses, living the lifestyle he felt he was *entitled* to live, all with having the beautiful million dollar house (that was titled in Linda's name only), giving off the appearance of being the model, perfect family (and I do feel really bad for his children but not nearly as much as I do for his victims) for all the world to see. It was all a lie - and the sickest lie of all - one that devastated the lives of hundreds of people.

      I've seen pictures of Graham's family. Makes me sick to my stomach to think of the phony portrait that Rob and Linda were putting on. They put on a great show - one full of hot air, smoke and mirrors. They deserve every bit of misery that's heading their way.

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    2. Those kids look like complete spoiled brats. I'll bet the young one "bakes' with all the letterman at school. The chubby one probably is a dropout and has no friends and the boy on mission is a fake who looks up to daddy Graham. I'm not certain what to think of the wife. How could she not know what was going on? As for living in a beautiful Million Dollar House, now adays that dollar amount doesn't mean much. So stereotypical to slam someone for a $1MM home and what car they drive.

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    3. Why do you think that any of them look like spoiled brats? They all look like kids just trying to live their lives.

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  16. This is just sad for everyone involved and their families. It is sadder for some than others, but still just a sad story of disastrous mistakes.

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    1. I wouldn't call what Rob Graham did as merely "mistakes". It was an elaborately developed scheme to commit fraud against his clients. Oh, I'm sure that he may have made a mistake at first when he raided his client trust account to perhaps pay for expenses (i'm speculating), but there came a time when this fraudulent Ponzi scheme became the business model for operating his firm. And it was going on for years and years.

      But I do agree, it's sad (more like devastating) for so many people that were involved and have to live with Graham's disastrous decisions - his clients whose lives will be immeasurably harmed, his children - who have found out that their father is not the man who they thought he was, who will lose him to the penal system for the rest of their lives, who will probably carry a measure of shame over their heads knowing that their father financially destroyed so many lives, in part for their benefit, and (hopefully not) his employees whose resumes could be tainted for having worked at Graham's firm.

      I feel so much disgust for Rob Graham that I even feel sorry for his dogs. He's an absolutely disgusting piece of human excrement. A sociopath. A narcissist extraordinaire.

      Final note: I have no sympathy for Linda. I have a hard time believing she knew nothing.

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    2. Will Robs Graham's law firm be hosting the X-Mas party this year? I just need to know if I need to bring my white robe.

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    3. To 3:20 p.m. You have no idea how much I feel EXACTLY the same way - this was not a mistake at all. He knew what he was doing and Linda is not innocent in any of this. I appreciate you sharing your comments, because soooooo many feel the same way, but just might not have the chutzpah to say it.

      Party? Ha! Right. I don't think any of the people who are involved are very excited about the holidays this year. Frankly, I could care less, I'm only putting on a "show" for the kids.

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  17. Attempted to read the "affidavit." With that and the interview, he is making himself look really bad and crazy.

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