OCTOBER 1993 - 2/2

A while ago there has been news that the police is cracking down on unlicensed vendors. They confiscate the merchandise, handcuff the vendors and take them to the police station where they are booked like criminals. Even painters who exhibit on the sidewalk are liable to be arrested. The only unlicensed vendors who are not subject to the crackdown are book vendors because books are protected by the First Amendment right of free speech. So a painting is not protected by the first amendment? A work of art is not considered speech.

I had hopes that Worth & Worth would be an outlet for me but this hope is dashed now. The only outlets left to me are the flea markets, with all their cheap junk.

Wed. 27:

I sent today to the Disciplinary Committee my reply to the Slavits'answer to my complaint.

Gentlemen: Please find below my comments to the reply of MM Leonard and Ira Slavit dated October 4, 1993. I am enclosing a copy of their reply with annotated numbers corresponding to the numbering of my comments. * * * 1- M. I. Slavit instructed me to lie about how the accident occurred the first time I came to the law office with a full cast on my left leg. The word "sideswiped" was banned and replaced by "hit" or "struck". The Notice of Claim dated July 21, 1990 (Exhibit 1) already states that "I was caused to be struck by a motor bus". The time elapsed between the contact of the bus with my shoulder and my fall was reduced from aproximately 20 seconds to barely two seconds. M. I. Slavit also advised me to say that I was wearing a helmet, that I fell close to the curb and that no vehicles were parked on the curb, all of which is untrue. Before both interviews, in the waiting room at the TA headquarters, I was drilled ad nauseam by M. L. Slavit to make sure I would answer the questions according to their instructions. 2- I was sworn in neither at the hearing of August 28, 1990, nor at the EBT of August 7, 1991. Until the spring of 1993 when I started to think and worry about the upcoming trial, I felt uncomfortable about having lied, but was confident that I hadn't broken any laws yet, since I hadn't lied under oath. 3- Maybe the court reporters were hired by the TA in both instances, but M. I. Slavit told me that he had hired them himself, allegedly to ensure a transcript more favorable to me, as if there were more than one way to verbatim transcription. 4- Insofar as the transcripts contained misstatements made at their behest, MM Slavit did not encourage me to seriously review them and correct any inaccuracies and I signed them "as is". 5- I don't recall having been shown any form completed by the bus driver showing the number of passengers on the bus, nor any document proving that there was no witness, except the transcripts of the driver's hearing and EBT. 6- I expressed concern to M. L. Slavit about the unlikelihood of falling to one's left when struck on the left the first time I came to the law-office after M. I. Slavit had advised me to alter the facts. This concern was dismissed with a wave of the hand and a "Don't worry". I was in no mental state to dissect every circumstance of the accident and coax my brain into reshaping the event, and I trusted that MM Slavit were able to visualize clearly the product of their own imagination. The reason I didn't express concern about my statements during the time prior to July 1993 is because I trusted that MM Slavit knew what they were doing while I was myself confused. They had convinced me that their version was better than mine, that it was better for me to do as they said, and that there was nothing wrong with giving a false account of the events. I felt that MM Slavit would not welcome any expression of concern about ethical issues or law breaking. The trial being in the distant future, I had time to find a solution to avoid lying before a jury. Also I didn't think MM Slavit would like to hear about the mental suffering I was experiencing, as the innocent victim of an accident, for having to lie about it. As the trial date approached, instead of looking forward to it with confidence, I had a feeling of impending disaster that I could not ignore. The secretiveness of MM Slavit aroused my suspicion, and instead of voicing my concerns I acted stupid, which was just fine with them, and observed their behavior. At the pre-trial preparation interview of July 13.93, I was inwardly infuriated because M. L. Slavit made a big issue of my height and weight, and breezed through the description of the accident as if it were not the core of the matter. At the preparation interview of August 10.93, where M. L. Slavit asked me to pretend that he was the defense attorney, he questioned me in a concerned, grand-fatherly tone and asked more questions about my health than about the accident. He asked if I was seeing a doctor, if I was taking any medication and then, as if correcting himself, stated that I used herbal medicines. I had never given him or I. Slavit any such information. At no point did he focus on the accident proper and try to find fault with my description of it, as happens during cross-examination. He even asked me what color was the bus. He wouldn't stop insulting my intelligence. Before I had realized that lying before a jury is a felony, and that my false description of the accident was unbelievable, I was trying to find in what way MM Slavit were setting me up, and became alarmed about the possibility that some witnesses would come out of the woodwork. In any event, I kept my concerns to myself. 7- This room looked like a classroom to me. There were rows of desks as can be found in schools, and facing them a big desk on a platform. And instead of sitting at any of the desks, we were crammed in the narrow alley that ran the length of the room. 8- The transcripts may state that I was duly sworn, but I wasn't. This absence of oath was consistent with M. I. Slavit's assertion that my statements were not legally binding. Adding to that the informal setting, all the circumstances conveyed the impression that nothing really serious was happening and made it easy for me to lie. 9- Since my experience of the two interviews at the TA head- quarters bore no resemblance with the EBT's I had participated in as an interpreter, I did not make any comparison until I realized, in July 93, that my attorneys expected me to commit a felony and couldn't possibly be on my side. 10- I. Slavit told me that my statements at the statutory hearing were not legally binding. 11- I don't deny that I signed the original. I just wonder why the copy in my possession was notarized if someone other than I signed my name. 12- My mistake. By "Defendant's testimonies" I meant the transcripts of his statutory hearing and his EBT. MM Slavit never explained the difference. 13- Altough Leonard Slavit had tried to discourage me from reading the driver's transcripts, I was worried that his and mine would clash. I also wanted to ascertain whether or not any witness was listed at the end of the transcripts as required by law (I only had MM Slavit's word that there was none). So, contrary to counsel's advice I looked for the defendant's transcripts in my file on July 19, 1993, and found them missing. A few minutes after this discovery, L. Slavit called to inform me about the new developments after his appearance at 80 Center Street. When he asked how I was doing, I said that I just had a bad surprise, that I couldn't find the driver's transcripts in my file. L. Slavit told me not to worry, that he would let me read them in his office. When I visited him for a pre-trial interview on August 10.93 and asked if he would let me read the driver's transcripts, he looked away and changed the subject. If M. L. Slavit was acting in good faith towards me, how did he fail to understand my concern? Why did he act as if it were crucial that I be ignorant of the driver's version? If the driver's transcripts I had been given were actually phony as I believe, it makes sense for my attorneys to have them removed from my possession at the time I was showing interest in them. The inconsistency between the two driver's transcripts was a manoeuvre to make me believe that my case would be easy to win, and divert my attention from the obvious flaws in my own. Which it actually did. Every time the problem of breach of personal ethics and law- breaking came to my mind, I comforted myself by thinking that the driver's inconsistency would be picked on. If I make an accusation that implicates my landlord, it's because there is nothing unusual for him or his staff to enter my apartment without permission. I didn't know for three years that he had duplicates of my keys. He may have obtained them from the person who occupied my apartment while I was in France for my father's funeral, from mid-september to mid-november 1990. There is a history of burglary that started three months after I moved to this address. I have filed a complaint against my landlord at the Human Rights Commission on October 18.93 for his violation of my privacy. After I discovered on July 19.93 that the driver's transcripts had disappeared, I put a padlock on my door. In spite of that, I observed that two or three times per week, upon returning home, small objects like pens or spools of thread had been displaced, or removed and then put back in place a few days later. I found a book standing on the small side in the middle of the floor, a bottle of nail polish lying on the floor when I had swept the floor just before leaving, the time on my alarm clock turned back exactly one hour. Other times I found objects in places where I would never have put them myself. I complained to my landlord. He said that he had nothing to do with it, that it must be a poltergeist, then he asked me if I was feeling all-right. Maybe I forgot where I put things? None of this can be blamed on my cat, and I haven't had any visitor since november 1990. On August 9.93 I chose a locksmith in the Yellow Pages and ordered a pick-proof lock and a pick-proof padlock. The next day, the employee who was installing them told me that my landlord, who manages several buildings in Manhattan, was a big customer of his company. On August 12, I had window grills installed. (Ex. 2-3) The incidents of invasion continued, causing me extreme dis-tress. I stopped payment on one of the two checks I wrote to the locksmith and asked him to honor his 30 days warranty and replace the locks. He said that nothing was wrong with my locks and forcefully denied that he had given duplicates of my keys to my landlord. He said that I must be tired or nervous. "It happens to everybody." Such incidents had never happened before July 19.93. The locksmith threatened to lock me out. Police Officer Lawson, of the Crime Prevention unit, said that if he did that, he would be arrested, but declined to help in any way. I filed a complaint against the locksmith in Small Claims Court on August 27.93. (Ex. 4) A court appearance is scheduled for November 17.93. I called another locksmith who replaced the cylinder on my lock. (Ex.5) The incidents continued. Finally I bought a cylinder and installed it myself on October 13.93. (Ex. 6) The incidents stopped. These extreme measures were obviously intended to make me question my sanity. If I believed the problems were only in my head, then everything else was all-right. If I became uncertain whether or not I ever had the driver's transcripts, I couldn't accuse anybody of having stolen them. Trying to make a woman believe she's losing her mind is an old ploy. Complaint #10061 dated August 22.93 (Ex. 7) filed at the 24th police precinct pertains to the repeated invasions of my premises. 14- I returned to the site of the accident with M. I. Slavit. The markings on 5th Avenue were identical with those I remembered from the date of accident. But the photographs he showed me showed different markings. Two parallel lines between the first and second lane, and a diamond in the middle of the second lane. No street sign, no store. I was unable to believe that M. Slavit was trying to fool me. I just didn't understand why he was doing this and made no comment. The photographs I took recently show markings identical with those I remember from the date of accident. Besides they prove that it is possible to show the scene of accident with street signs or landmarks that positively identify the location. 15- Would a personal injury attorney take a case without making a quick calculation and know approximately how much he stood to gain from it? I started to ask for a ballpark figure not until 1993. The subject had never been broached before. My occasional questions were answered with "It's impossible to tell." I was also wondering what kind of reference a jury was given to determine what amount would do justice to an accident victim, but I felt MM Slavit's unwillingness to talk about money and didn't ask. I called Ed, the Office Manager at Quick Track Messengers to inquire about what amount he had recoverd as a result of his own injury several years ago. He told me that he got the maximum the defendant's insurance would allow, which was $150,000. I told him I was bothered that my attorneys were so secretive about the subject. Ed encouraged me to insist until I got some answer and I did insist. I told L. Slavit that with all his experience, I had expected that he would be able to give me an idea. Again L. Slavit answered that it was impossible to tell. At the end of a conference with Judge Toker, which I attended in July or August 93, L. Slavit told me that the judge had said that he knew what those knee injuries looked like, a one foot long scar in the middle of the leg, and that the judge had given a rough estimate of $150,000. These were supposedly the judge's words transmitted to me by L. Slavit. 16- It is correct that my status as a bicycle messenger was of a self-employed, independent contractor. However, it is now common knowledge that many employers use this status to avoid paying Social Security and other taxes. I contest the legitimacy of this work status considering that Quick Track accepted to give me work only on the condition that I would work full time. In reality I had no choice to work for any other agent but Quick Track, which contradicts the definition of self-employed or independant contractor. Although M. I. Slavit had told me that I wasn't entitled to Worker's Compensation benefits due to the self-employed status, the Worker's Compensation Board sent me forms to fill out and did not deny that I was entitled to benefits. Ms Dorothy Flowers, at the No-Fault department of the Transit Authority, also informed me that I was entitled to these benefits. (Ex. 8) I signed the letter of August 22, 1991 under duress. Quick Track was not insured on the date of accident (Ex. 9) and must have contacted my attorneys to ask them to make me give up any Worker's Compensation claim. After receiving mail from the Worker's Compensation Board, I asked for a referral since M. I. Slavit had told me that his office did not handle Worker's Compensation claims. 17- I was directed to be examined by Dr. Balensweig not after I voiced dissatisfaction with Drs Nailor and Pflum but early into the case, several months before I complained of Dr. Nailor in my letter of 12.21.1990. Dr. Nailor was best qualified to make a report since he had operated on me. After surgery with Dr. Pflum, X-rays showed a staple on the front of my knee. This staple protrudes on the surface. There is no belief here, only facts. MM Slavit never asked me if I could afford to see a doctor of my choice and never gave me the choice. If he had given me the choice, common sense indicated to stay with Dr. Nailor. 18- It is correct that MM Slavit had advised me not to see any Transit Authority doctor without their knowledge. However the letter ordering me to submit to a neurological exam indicated that my attorneys had received a copy of the letter, standard procedure. (Ex. 10) So MM Slavit knew about it, and never called me to discuss it. I can only explain my failure to communicate by the fact that I expected MM Slavit to contact me about it, and by the intimidation I felt resulting from the threatening tone of the letter. I have called Ms. Laura Whitaker, who replaces Ms. Flowers at the No-Fault department of the TA, concerning their request that I be examined by Dr. Slotweiner. After having said during an earlier communication that there was no record of payment to that doctor, she said that "The TA cannot keep paying and paying and paying". In other words, she was saying that the examination by Dr. Slotweiner was conducted for the sole purpose of declaring me fit (without testing the area of injury), and terminating my No-Fault benefits. Had I not gone to the examination, the same result would have ensued. 19- I only asked for referrals regarding sexual harassment and malpractice. MM Slavit discouraged me from pursuing any such claims. I never consulted a doctor to have confirmation that there was a case of malpractice. The facts speak for themselves. M. I. Slavit asked to see and I showed him several times the protuberance on my knee caused by the staple so the basis of my claim should be clear to him. And if the Transit Authority is liable for any damages resulting from the treatment of my injuries, I have no problem with that. 20- Neither Leonard nor Ira Slavit pronounced the word "sideswiped" at any time after they had convinced me to alter the description of the accident. 21- Every time I had an important question, MM Slavit reacted with ill-contained impatience and irritation, including in August 93 when I asked M. L. Slavit how long he thought the trial would last so that I could schedule my time. They had the same reaction every time I reminded them that the messenger job was only as a stop-gap solution and not "my usual vocation" as stated in the Notice of Claim. (Ex. 1) They consistently behaved towards me as if I were unable to understand anything, and kept me in the dark as much as possible. I always knew that MM. Slavit were personal injury attorneys and never expected them to help me with patent and trademark matters. All I asked for was a referral, as at that time I didn't know of the existence of legal referral services. 22- My experience indicates that, as an injured single woman with no close family to help, I was fair game to the very persons whom I had entrusted with my care and protection. I have no doubt that I have been deceived and set up by my attorneys to commit a felony so that my credibility would have been destroyed permanently. With their version of the accident, I didn't stand a chance at the trial and would have suffered a devastating humiliation. This required the collaboration of the TA attorneys and the court reporters. My attorneys expected that the inconsistency between the two driver's transcripts and the prospect of a considerable sum of money would blind me to the obvious flaw in my description of the accident. When I expressed my intention to read the driver's transcripts, MM Slavit arranged with my landlord to have them removed from my file. The expense of over $2,500 is negligible compared to the sums at stake. I have spoken with several personal injury attorneys after I dismissed MM Slavit. When I told them how the accident really happened, they all said that I had a good case. Why then did MM Slavit tell me that a jury would believe I had attempted suicide and that I had to change the story? And if they were truly acting on my behalf, why did they advise me to tell a story that is unbelievable? If they are unaware that any of my answers were not truthful, how come they use the word "sideswiped" in their reply of October 4.93 on page 7 par.2 when all other documents, starting with the Notice of Claim, use the word "hit" or "struck"? 23- These denials are pure lies.

Sincerely,

Brigitte Picart

Sat. 30:

Today I understand that the campaign of intensified crazy making was intended to make me believe that I was losing my mind. All the coincidences between seemingly unrelated events and people were intended to make me believe that I was paranoid. All the areas of my life were being interfered with at the same time.

If I doubted my understanding of the situation, I had to let others' prevail.

I understand that hunger is keeping my voice from filling out. Hunger constricts my throat, just like fear does.


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