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Stephen Drew Chamberlain

December 13, 2014

Mr. Gary J. Kolb, Esquire


Executive Secretary
Commission on Judicial Disabilities
State of Maryland
100 Community Place
Crownsville, MD 21032
Re:

Judge Paul F. Harris, Jr., Anne Arundel County Circuit Court


Chamberlain v. Chamberlain Case # 02-C-09-139690
Civil or Family Law

Dear Mr. Kolb,


Please consider this letter as a formal complaint against Judge Paul F. Harris, Jr.
The misconduct initially took place at a Merits Hearing on April 18, 2014. At the time, I
was being represented by Kevin M. Schaeffer, Esquire of Council Baradel Law Firm, 125
West Street, Fourth Floor, Annapolis MD 21401 (410-268-6600). Since that hearing, I
have represented myself. More violations of Md. Rule 16-813 took place after the Merits
Hearing.
The following is an overview of the allegations:
Judge Harris conducted a hearing in the face of clear and unrefuted evidence the
case before him was moot and there was no justiciable controversy. While this and other
errors in this hearing are appealable, and are currently being appealed, the totality of the
errors committed and the circumstances surrounding them demonstrates a willful
disregard for numerous rules contained in Md. Rule 16-813.

Judge Harris had no authority to conduct the Merits Hearing on April 18, 2014.
His conduct was largely responsible for the duress incurred which coerced me into
making an oral agreement on the record. My attorney completely abandoning my defense
after an in chambers discussion added to this duress. The totality of the record indicates
the most tenacious advocacy on my behalf for 7 months. The transcript of the hearing
demonstrates this aggressive advocacy continued until the hearing was suspended by
Judge Harris. The record also clearly indicates Mr. Schaeffer had not even had an
opportunity to present an argument in my defense before this point in the hearing. Yet
my attorney emerged from this in chambers conference and basically told me was had to
settle.
Immediately after the hearing, I worked to strike my attorneys appearance
because whatever had been discussed with Judge Harris caused him to abdicate his
advocacy on my behalf. The record will show I immediately filed a Motion for
Declaration of Mistrial which provides numerous allegations, supported by evidence,
which would require a new hearing, as well as the mandatory recusal of Judge Harris
from making any further rulings on the case.
Judge Harris was fully aware I had not given my consent to the oral agreement, or
the draft of a written agreement 18 days before he modified the draft and signed it as an
Order of the Court. Having no subject matter jurisdiction over the hearing on April 18,
2014, this Order is void by law. Yet Judge Harris has denied the Motion for Declaration
of Mistrial and denied the Motion to Vacate Order. When the Court scheduled a 30
minute Contempt Hearing on the matter for November 21, 2014, I explained the need for
4 hours in order to defend myself of the charges in a formal pleading. Judge Harris
denied this request.
I travelled from Colorado to Maryland to defend myself against charges of
constructive civil contempt. In a 30 minute hearing, my expectation was that I would
have 7-10 minutes of that time period to present a defense which would prove the Court

had no subject matter jurisdiction over a moot issue on April 18, 2014, Judge Harris had
no authority to proceed with the hearing, and the oral agreement from that hearing which
was reduced to writing was void by law. Furthermore, I would need to present the case
that one cannot be held in constructive civil contempt for disobeying an unlawful order. I
believe the denial of my request to be afforded the time to be heard on the matter and
present a defense was a violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Maryland Constitution and
Md. Rule 16-813.
The Master who was assigned immediately understood he had neither the time, nor
resources to conduct a fair hearing on November 21, 2014 and the hearing was
rescheduled for January 16, 2014. In discussions prior to this date being set, I again
indicated I needed 4 hours to present my defense. I was told this was impossible and that
a half day hearing would be scheduled. I understood a half day hearing would have been
4 hours.
The Scheduling Order was issued by the Court indicating the hearing would be for
3 hours. Again, considering time for the Judge and opposing counsel to speak, this would
limit me to an hour or hour and a half at most. I believe this was still extremely
prejudicial to my ability to present a defense.
As Judge Harris had unilaterally denied all requests for relief I had made with the
Court. As Judge Harris had overwhelming evidence in his possession which required him
to disqualify himself but failed to do so, I filed two additional motions with the Court:
one was to revise Judge Harriss denial of the Motion to Vacate Order and the other a
formal request for the Court to Order Judge Harris to recuse himself. Both of these
motions were delivered to Judge Hackner, who subsequently referred them to Judge
Harris for rulings. On December 11, 2014 I was made aware that Judge Harris desired to
have a hearing on the matter of recusal, and that he added that issue to the previously
scheduled Contempt Hearing on January 16, 2014. In addition to further reducing the

time allowed to present a defense, I have been made aware that Judge Harris has already
been assigned to preside over the hearing on January 16, 2014.
What follows are some of the specific allegations and evidence to substantiate
them. The rough draft of my appellants brief is the most comprehensive resource to find
the evidence. The other pleadings also provide significant information with which the
commission can draw conclusions, or at a minimum, know where to focus their
investigation. The amount of information might seem daunting, but the misconduct and
egregiousness of the situation compels me to provide a good amount of information to
form the foundation of an inquiry. I have more instance of misconduct and more
evidence should the Commission desire it. I have no doubt than when any reasonable
person reads these pleadings, then reviews Judge Harriss conduct after he was made
aware of the allegations and the facts supplied in support of those allegations, no other
conclusion can be reached than serious violations of Md. Rule 16-813, and the possibility
of more serious misconduct.
Adjudicated Case Without Authority to Do So
On April 14, 2014, the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Voluntary Dismissal. In this
pleading she explicitly stated the only issue for which she sought relief was moot and she
wanted the case dismissed. On April 17, 2014, my attorney filed the Response which
explicitly stated the issue was indeed moot, but had been moot for more than 4 months
and we should be awarded fees. This was hand-delivered to Judge Harris. On April 18,
2014, we arrived in court to make our argument about fees. Judge Harris was made
aware that both parties filed pleadings stating the only issue before the Court had become
moot, that both parties sought dismissal, and provided evidence that the issue was moot.
(See pgs. 3-16 of transcript) A careful analysis of the dialogue at the commencement of
the Merits Hearing would persuade any reasonable person that Judge Harris was already
aware of the situation. It appears he knew the issue was moot (See pg. 4 of transcript

showing the flippant disregard for the moot argument and decision to immediately
proceed), already knew Mr. Brown changed his mind about dismissal and elected to try
the case with Judge Harris presiding rather than run from it. Judge Harris consciously
decided in the face of overwhelming evidence the issue was moot to allow the motion to
be withdrawn, without question and without explanation, despite there being no evidence
the issue had become un-mooted.
Willfully acting under the color of law by using his authority as a judge to hear a
case in the clear absence of subject matter jurisdiction is a violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983.
He may have general or fundamental jurisdiction over declaratory judgment actions, but
he has no jurisdiction to hear moot cases. This was not an error in the exercise of
jurisdiction. A trial judge has no statutory authority to preside over a case which is not
justiciable. The evidence in incontrovertible that Judge Harris was aware he had no
jurisdiction to hear the case and used his power as a judge to violate my due process
rights. The only explanation for this conduct was to assist Mr. Brown in escaping from
his patented litigation strategy of pursuing meritless litigation in an effort to coerce the
opposition into settling on unfavorable terms. Specifically, his conduct was in direct
contravention to Md. Rule 2-324 (b) which states: Subject matter jurisdiction. Whenever
it appears that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the
action. Furthermore, the law is clear that the court may grant a declaratory judgment in a
civil case if it will serve to terminate the uncertainty or controversy giving rise to the
proceedings, and if an actual controversy exists between the contending parties. (Md.
Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-409(a)(1)).
Rules violated:
Rule 1.1 Compliance With The Law
A judge shall comply with the law, including this Code of Judicial
Conduct.

Rule 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary


(a) A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the
judiciary.
(b) A judge shall avoid conduct that would create in reasonable
minds a perception of impropriety.
Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness
A judge shall uphold and apply the law and shall perform all duties
of judicial office impartially and fairly.
Rule 2.4 External Influences on Judicial Conduct
(b) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or
other interests or relationships to influence the judges judicial
conduct or judgment.
(I do not have hard evidence of a violation of Rule 2.4 (b), but the circumstantial
evidence is persuasive that a judge of this tenure would not make a mistake by
proceeding to try a case with no jurisdiction to do so. This would be akin to a Police
Chief not understanding the need to read someone their Miranda rights. I believe he was
influenced to conduct the hearing in order to facilitate opposing counsels escape from
having brought and maintained a meritless action for over 7 months. I believe there was
a concerted effort to hold the hearing, create enough duress through judicial error to
create fear in the outcome of the hearing, and force a voluntary settlement.)
Rule 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation
(a) A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties
competently, diligently, promptly, and without favoritism or
nepotism.
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Rule 2.9 Ex Parte Communications


(c) A judge shall not investigate adjudicative facts in a matter
independently, and shall consider only the evidence in the record
and any facts that may properly be judicially noticed.
(Rule 2.9 (c) applies because 100% of the evidence presented in formal pleadings and
orally during the hearing clearly showed the issue was moot. The judge has no authority
to investigate whether the issue is or is not moot. It was declared as moot by both parties,
not refuted by either party, and the record is clear that there was no misunderstanding of
these facts. If all the evidence provided is clear, he must have had his own evidence to
rule as he did.)
Failure to Make 3rd Party Beneficiary to a Contract a Party to the Case
The record is clear that the judge was required to make my adult son, John, a party
to the case pursuant to Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-405 (a) (1): (a) Person
who has or claims interest as party. -- (1) If declaratory relief is sought, a person who has
or claims any interest which would be affected by the declaration, shall be made a party.
This statute was read to the judge twice, opposing counsel is on record for admitting it
must be done (See page 23 and 26 of transcript), and the Judge took the time to read the
rule himself prior to denying it with no explanation or legal reasoning. (See pgs. 16-33 of
transcript) This error exposed me to future litigation over the same matter before the
Court.
It is not plausible this was a judicial error. The judge had a duty to apply the
law. There was no disagreement about what the law said. It was clear, and he failed to
apply it. This adds to the circumstantial evidence this failure to apply the law was
purposeful.
Rules violated:
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Rule 1.1 Compliance With The Law


A judge shall comply with the law, including this Code of Judicial
Conduct.
Rule 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary
(a) A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the
judiciary.
(b) A judge shall avoid conduct that would create in reasonable
minds a perception of impropriety.
Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness
A judge shall uphold and apply the law and shall perform all duties
of judicial office impartially and fairly.
Rule 2.4 External Influences on Judicial Conduct
(b) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or
other interests or relationships to influence the judges judicial
conduct or judgment.
Rule 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation
(a) A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties
competently, diligently, promptly, and without favoritism or
nepotism.

Took Parole Evidence Prior To Determining Nature of Contract Language


Settled law in Maryland, and a canon of contract interpretation, is that no parol
evidence will be admissible until the language in question is determined to be unclear or
ambiguous. The transcript from the hearing clearly shows the Judge twice sought parol
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evidence prior to hearing any evidence on the contract language itself. (See pg. 16 and
33).
The parol evidence admitted had very little to do with interpreting the single
sentence the other party had sought a declaratory judgment on. (See Pgs. 33-81 of
transcript). By directing testimony be given, opposing counsel was given an opportunity
to poison the air by assassinating my character and creating bias based on my
socioeconomic status (employed) and marital status (divorced). Judge Harris directed the
introduction of parol evidence into the hearing. Judge Harris had declared he understood
this hearing was about contract interpretation, and admitted he had not reviewed the
language before the hearing started. Introducing parol evidence demonstrated a bias
toward the feelings, concerns and desires of the female plaintiff.
Rules violated:
Rule 1.1 Compliance With The Law
A judge shall comply with the law, including this Code of Judicial
Conduct.
Rule 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary
(a) A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the
judiciary.
(b) A judge shall avoid conduct that would create in reasonable
minds a perception of impropriety.
Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness
A judge shall uphold and apply the law and shall perform all duties
of judicial office impartially and fairly.
Rule 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harrassment
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(b) A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words


or conduct, manifest bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon ...
marital status, socioeconomic status ....
(c) (2) A judge must avoid conduct that may reasonably be perceived
as prejudiced or biased. Examples of manifestations of bias or
prejudice include ... intimidating or hostile acts ....
Rule 2.4 External Influences on Judicial Conduct
(b) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or
other interests or relationships to influence the judges judicial
conduct or judgment.
Rule 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation
(a) A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties
competently, diligently, promptly, and without favoritism
or nepotism.

Demonstrated Judicial Bias and Judicial Overreach


Determining the truth of what was actually said during the in chambers discussion
will necessarily require those who were present to be questioned. However, based on the
legal professions unwritten code of conduct requiring silence on such matters, similar to
the phenomenon found in emergency rooms regarding silence between surgeons and
nurses, it is doubtful deposing these players will yield truthful testimony.
A careful analysis of the record will demonstrate that some type of threat was
made. My attorney, Kevin Schaeffer, created a record of advocacy both through the
pleadings over the course of 7 months and through the Merits Hearing on April 18, 2014
until the hearing was suspended for the in chambers discussion. We had not presented a
single piece of evidence in defense of the language which had been brought before the
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Court for a declaratory judgment. The record shows opposing counsel made no case
during direct examination of his client in support of their contentions concerning the
language in dispute. The record shows my attorney dismembering that testimony during
cross-examination proving that significant portions of the plaintiffs testimony was
perjurous. Then came the in chambers discussion.
Emerging from this in chambers conference, my attorneys position had flipped
180 degrees. For 7 months we had a strong case, so strong in fact that the other party
sought a settlement the week prior to the trial, then filed an 11th hour request to have
their own case dismissed. The record also shows a tenacious advocate during the
hearing. Yet after the discussion with the Judge, Mr. Schaeffer basically demanded I
settle, and forcefully informed me that I would be making the mistake of a lifetime if I
did not settle. When I still persisted on going forward with the hearing, Mr. Schaeffer
flatly refused to elucidate the information about the case during direct examination to
create an adequate record for a successful appeal. Based on the totality of the
circumstances at this point, I was forced to place an oral agreement on the record.
Specifically, Mr. Schaeffer emerged from this conference and stated that the Judge
believes the language is unenforceable but then added that he would rule based on
who he believed. This conversation took place in the presence of a third party. I have no
doubt there were more serious threats levied than what my attorney felt comfortable to
convey.
The absurdity of a Judge declaring he would enforce an unenforceable contract
goes without saying. As no evidence had been presented to the Judge, and him having
stated on the record that he was hearing all of this in a vacuum, (pg. 8) and later stating
Ive got to make a decision at some point on what the agreement says, (pg. 10) it
showed significant bias for him to opine to the attorneys that he had already made a
determination that the contract language was unenforceable. Then, to further state, as Mr.
Shaeffer relayed to me after the discussion, that he would still enforce the agreement

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based on who he believed created significant fear in me. I believe, at a minimum, the
Judges comments represented significant overreach in an effort to force me into a
settlement. I feared he would not only rule against me, but rule without regard to the law.
I truly believe much more was threatened during this conference than an unfavorable
ruling in my case. Over the previous months, Mr. Schaeffer was very clear how
dangerous it would be to present even the most solid case before certain Judges. He had
specifically placed Judge Harris in that category, referring to his history with Judge
Harris all the way back to high school, but also toward a specific event related to Judge
Harriss election to the bench and Mr. Schaeffers position as the editor of a legal
newsletter or magazine. In a phone call witnessed by another person on the day before
the trial, Mr. Schaeffer had already indicated we would not be awarded any fees because
Judge Harris was the presiding Judge.
Rules violated:
Rule 1.1 Compliance With The Law
A judge shall comply with the law, including this Code of Judicial
Conduct.

Rule 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary


(a) A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the
judiciary.
(b) A judge shall avoid conduct that would create in reasonable
minds a perception of impropriety.
Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness
A judge shall uphold and apply the law and shall perform all duties
of judicial office impartially and fairly.
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Rule 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment


(b) A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or
conduct, manifest bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon ... marital
status, socioeconomic status ....
(c) (2) A judge must avoid conduct that may reasonably be perceived as
prejudiced or biased. Examples of manifestations of bias or prejudice
include ... intimidating or hostile acts ....
(Application of Rule 2.3 is based on the logical assumption that Judge Harris would not
be making these rulings against (1) a married father who had agreed to pay for a major
university who was sued by his wife in an effort to make him spend more than $100,000
he did not have (2) or against a janitor. Judge Harriss conduct is directly related to the
fact that I am gainfully employed, well paid for what I do, and divorced. I believe these
factors are a key to understanding why a Judge may work with a certain attorney toward a
mutual goal, and that working in concert with an attorney will reap some kind of benefit,
either in the present or in the future.)
Rule 2.4 External Influences on Judicial Conduct
(b) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or
other interests or relationships to influence the judges judicial
conduct or judgment.
(Application Rule 2.4 is based on the conduct being so egregious that it cannot be
plausibly attributed to error. Rather, the conduct is manifested by some kind of influence
on the Judges conduct or judgment.)
Rule 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation

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(a) A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties


competently, diligently, promptly, and without favoritism or
nepotism.

Failure to Disqualify When Mandated By Law


The Motion for Declaration of Mistrial filed on May 16, 2014 includes significant
allegations concerning judicial misconduct. These allegations far surpass the standard
outlined in Rule 2.11 requiring self-disqualification.
The allegations, when proven, could result in discipline which could involve
suspension, fines, or possible removal from office. It cannot be argued that Judge Harris
has less than a de minimis interest in the outcome of this case. He has a significant
interest in these proceedings not being reviewed by others and for his Order being
followed despite it being unlawful. Acting in his capacity as a Judge when it is clear he
has no authority to do so is the single exception to absolute judicial immunity. His
actions, should they be brought to light, expose him to personal damages in a 1983
Federal lawsuit. Again, he has a substantial interest in the rulings for relief in this case
after he signed the Order on June 5, 2014.
The record will show that Judge Harris has denied the Motion for Declaration of
Mistrial, the Motion to Vacate the Order, and the Motion to Cancel Contempt Hearing
which also, in the alternative to cancellation, requested more than a 30 minutes to present
a defense in the Contempt Hearing.
I do understand the Court would like to resolve all issues when parties are coming
from two different states. Nevertheless it is beyond unfair to further limit my right to be
heard and present a defense by adding a completely different issue (recusal) on top of a 3
hour hearing when the defendant has insisted he needs 4 hours himself to present a
defense. Judge Harriss decision to assign himself to the January 16, 2014 hearing and to
further limit my opportunity to make a record while presenting my defense of his
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unlawful Order and the contempt charges is an intentional effort to deny me due process
rights.
No Judge has more interest in these two hearings than Judge Harris. These
hearings are ABOUT Judge Harris. The central questions are whether Judge Harris
conducted a hearing without statutory authority to do so. I have evidence that he did.
Once presented, his Order which emanated from that hearing is void by law. One cannot
be held in contempt for disobeying an unlawful Order. Judge Harris has every interest in
NOT recusing himself because he knows if an unbiased set of eyes reviews his conduct in
this case he will be personally impacted by that reversal.
Rules violated:
2.11 Disqualification
(a) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in
which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned,
including the following circumstances:
(2) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any
proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might
reasonably be questioned, including the following
circumstances:
(C) is a person who has more than a de minimis
interest that could be substantially affected by the
proceeding; or
(D) is likely to be a material witness in the
proceeding.
(3) The judge knows that he or she, individually or as a
fiduciary, or any of the following persons has a significant

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financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in


a party to the proceeding
(c) (1) Under this Rule, a judge is disqualified whenever the judge's
impartiality might reasonably be questioned, regardless of whether
any of the specific provisions of paragraphs (a) (1) through (5)
apply. In this Rule, "disqualification" has the same meaning as
"recusal."
(c) (2) A judge's obligation not to hear or decide matters in which
disqualification is required applies regardless of whether a motion to
disqualify is filed.

In conclusion, the above summaries are grains of sand on the beaches of the Anne
Arundel Circuit Court. Judge Harris consistently demonstrated a failure to perform his
duties. He did not make good faith errors of fact or law. His conduct was overtly
prejudicial to the proper administration of justice.
He is not alone. Judges have allowed subpoenas in violation of clear law, made
rulings based on false statements in Blue Notes then when the Blue Note was corrected
did not revise their decision based on that false information. Failed to take corrective
action when provided evidence of another Judges misconduct (After Judge Hackner was
provided with a Motion Requesting Recusal which was supported with overwhelming
evidence showing mandatory disqualification of Judge Harris was justified, he not only
failed to grant the motion and Order Judge Harris from making further rulings on the
case, but he forwarded the Judge Harris himself.) As the motion requesting an order of
recusal stated explicitly stated it was being filed because Judge Harris had refused to
recuse himself voluntarily, referring the matter directly to him cannot be classified as
taking corrective action in accordance with Rule 2.15.

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The attached motions and transcript, if reviewed, will identify a pattern of


misconduct. The above summaries do not outline every single instance. I will make
myself available, in person if it would be helpful, to provide affidavits, a deposition, or
whatever the Commission needs to address these issues.
Lastly, I would like to directly state my utmost respect for the judicial system and
the rule of law. I served in the Navy for many years defending the very rights I believe
are being denied me. I have lost many colleagues who also defended our Constitution
and the rights we enjoy as Americans. I still serve this country in a capacity I am not at
liberty to discuss and have for the last 11 years. I sincerely believe the credibility of the
justice system in an absolute requirement for a democracy to function.
I am also fully cognizant of the seriousness of the allegations. However, the
totality of the errors, Judge Harriss refusal to recuse himself, the systemic way every
request for relief ends up in his hands, and is then denied without explanation, can only
lead reasonable people to believe there may be issues which are more serious than these
overt violations of Md. Rule 16-813. The formal complaints filed with the FBI by
myself, and other individuals who have similar experiences with judicial and lawyer
misconduct in the Anne Arundel Circuit Court will resolve those types of questions.
I solemnly affirm under the penalties of perjury that the contents of this document
are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. I sincerely
encourage you to do your utmost to investigate these allegations and prosecute the
violations found to the greatest extent allowed by law.

Very Respectfully,
Attached:
Plaintiffs Request for Voluntary Dismissal
Defendants Response to Plaintiffs Request for Voluntary Dismissal
Rough Draft of Appellate Brief
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Motion for Declaration of Mistrial


Response and Opposition to Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Motion for Mistrial
Motion to Dismiss
Motion to Cancel Contempt Hearing Date
Transcript of April 18, 2014 Merits Hearing

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