The Lawyer Tribe and the veiling of Truth

– Milwaukee lawyers abandoned moral reasoning

– Their mendacity mutes them today.

The following account of legal system corruption has its source in a failure to coerce a plea bargain. Coercion was meant to prevent the public disclosure of lawyer failings and misconduct.

When coercion failed the madness began. Three men of the law engaged in an escalation of commitment to a series of offences so appalling and illegal that concealment and lies – no different from ordinary crime – appeared the only way out.

The judge (Hansher), prosecutor (Matestic) and defence lawyer (Kohler) conspired to conceal lawyer misconduct at a trial, culminating in a wrongful conviction and further misconduct.

The irony: the effort to conceal has backfired monumentally. The prosecutor’s warning to the judge, “No other jurisdiction must ever review this case.” was in vein, as the story is on display internationally at Crime in the Courtroom .

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
                                                                                                                                                            – Friedrich Nietzsche


Defence lawyer Martin Kohler helped convict his own client at trial, then enjoyed protection from the local lawyer tribe.

Like no other, the lawyer tribe has the power to help its members conceal and deny – and then to dwell interminably unaccountable.

“Forget about it; it’s Chinatown.”

No, it’s the legal system in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

But it’s like the movie – the lawyers want everyone to forget about it.

A lawyer clique ensured that the Milwaukee public didn’t hear about a trial perverted by a double-dealing defence lawyer, a cowardly, unprincipled judge, and a prosecutor who advertised religious piety as he ignored his professional duty.

The prosecutor and defence lawyer both besieged the jury with lies to conceal lawyer wrongdoing/negligence, ensuring a wrongful conviction.

These same Milwaukee lawyers – influential enough to have had Interpol maliciously invoked to deflect from this story – remain strangely quiet.

Why so quiet? Because these men – and one woman – are guilty as charged and are themselves criminal. They cannot afford to have Milwaukee’s dirty legal laundry exposed internationally.

“No outside jurisdiction must ever review this case,” the prosecutor had ominously warned the judge – as if he were taken hold of by an odd premonition.

Fred Matestic knew then that, if an outside jurisdiction reviewed the case it would become apparent that American law in Milwaukee succumbed to the corrupt needs of individual lawyers, and that the plea bargain served as an instrument of coercion and concealment of truth.

The bad actors:

Judge David Hansher: the judge who willingly afforded defence lawyer Kohler 18 months to coerce a plea bargain. The intent was to conceal evidence of misconduct/negligence by lawyers and the judge agreed.

A resentful, vindictive man oddly servile to lawyer Kohler, Hansher separated a son from his protective father from age 5 to 18, extending punishment to the father for refusing to plea bargain.

Hansher later relied on falsified mental health reports to avoid admitting his mistakes, to undermine this author’s credibility, and to deflect attention from his administration of a sham trial. By that time, what Hansher allowed had already begun to smell, leaking a foul odour that he sensed would soon cling to him.

“But where was the evidence?” he mumbled as an aside in court, a weak attempt at self defence. He knew well that Kohler had concealed both medical evidence and witnesses with his blessing.

Defence Lawyer Martin Kohler: Kohler had for years enjoyed legal success and Judge Hansher’s approval by manoeuvring clients into plea bargains. With his reputation at stake, Kohler engaged in a grudge match with a client who refused his demand to forfeit the right to a public trial.

The client’s desire to prove innocence conflicted with Kohler’s perceived, perverse personal mandate: to help colleagues hide shortcomings, ingratiate himself, and call in favours later, a form of networking that led to a successful career in law.

Kohler’s stretched his obsession for the plea bargain into an 18-month ordeal of psychological pressure that featured deception, the intimidation of witnesses, and threats to the safety of a child.

Anger at his client’s determination to go to trial sent Kohler beyond his ability to cope. At trial, he fell into the grasp of a sort of … vengeful sadism. He used an abused child as emotional bait, refused to allow defence witnesses or evidence, sided with the prosecutor in court, both lying to the jury.

In a parting sign of his dominance after the trial, Kohler boasted to his client that he had deliberately betrayed him: “Thi is what happens when you reject a plea bargain.”He then refused to discuss post conviction relief, a requirement by law.

And how could Kohler not have done so? He could hardly argue for post conviction relief based on his own misconduct! From that awkward point onward Kohler found himself cornered, except for relying on fellow lawyers, especially for the appeal, to conceal his and Hansher’s violations.

Prosecutor Fred Matestic: Matestic promotes himself as a pious, religious man (St Mary’s, Hales Corners)) but he lied to a jury smooth as silk, himself becoming the Prince of Lies.

No ordinary lies these, as Matestic claimed that official police/lawyer/court files long available to him did not exist. The documents showed that a father had for years complained and provided evidence of child abuse. A sham trial achieved the intended concealment.

It was Matestic who openly reminded Hansher, “No outside jurisdiction must ever review this case.” That wish might have been broad enough to include Switzerland, but in his wildest nightmares he could not have imagined it.

Thomas Frenn: Lawyer and guardian ad litem who ignored repeated warnings of child abuse. Frenn insisted on staying clear of court. Professional courtesy was to be provided by his professional colleague, lawyer Marty Kohler, through a coerced plea bargain.

Disinterest in the child’s welfare characterised Mr. Frenn, a lawyer struggling in his law practice and in need of money from legal guardianship work, which he promptly and dutifully ignored upon being assigned.

Appellate Lawyer Stephen Glynn: the gem in the box of rocks, but not in the direction of manhood or sainthood. Glynn ran the table with every deceit a dishonest lawyer can muster. “Of course the trial was a travesty. Let us expose it together in the appeal, you and I.”

Take the retainer, feign research, charge fees and then alter the nature of the appeal submission, from lawyer misconduct to legal technicalities, thereby not implicating local lawyers or embarrassing the lawyer tribe.

What else could Glynn have done? Had he disclosed the misconduct, the lies, the concealment of evidence, the coercion, the improper termination of parental rights, the falsified mental health reports, and the illegal removal of potential black jurors, it would not only have shocked the public; it would have shocked him. That was not in his character. It would have gained Glynn the enmity of the lawyer tribe. Glynn, the team player who carried tribal water – he didn’t have the heart, the stomach or the soul for honourable, professional and courageous lawyering.

Lawyer Robert Elliott: No gem here; pure thug; enforcer lawyer. Mere harsh words? Not at all. There is evidence. Kohler hired Elliott for his defence after I began publishing the description of Kohler’s appalling misconduct in booklets. Milwaukee lawyer Mark Murphy courageously came to my defence, stating that he had seen Kohler’s years of questionable conduct in cahoots with Judge Hansher. Elliott saw to it that Murphy was hauled before a judge, and promptly muzzled: “Keep your mouth shut.”

At a deposition about the booklets exposing Kohler’s failures as a defence lawyer (and with the recorder switched off), Elliott had asked me, “What is it that you want?” My reply was “A fair trial with the truth exposed.”

Elliott – a large, domineering type with the charm of a rabid Rottweiler missing a meal and a reputation for working the dark, dirty back alleys of the law – displayed the confidence of a man who had already vanquished Lawyer Murphy for his support of me, then stated forcefully, “That … will never happen.”

Elliott didn’t deny that my trial was a sham intended to protect lawyer misconduct. He knew Kohler had intentionally thrown the trial. Elliott’s job was to keep that quiet; that was why Kohler hired him and that was what Elliott’s lawyer tribe expected.

Elliott’s cynical response to my question was a pivotal moment. I understood then that what I had to tell – about lawyer corruption – was entirely unwelcome within the Milwaukee justice system, even dangerous because it implicated lawyers in wrongdoing.

There were “good guy” lawyers like Mark Murphy and several others. They were punished for their support and went silent to maintain their careers, careers that could go on only with the approval of the Milwaukee lawyer tribe.

It seems that Elliott was right. He knew his tribe. What he did not know then, but has come to learn, is that he would ultimately pay for his cynicism and gangster approach to the law by sacrificing his career and reputation, publicly outed, flogged and powerless visavis this author, because lawyer tribes in other jurisdictions have priorities different from concealing Milwaukee lawyer corruption.

Elliott went on to actively promote false information taken from fraudulently altered mental health reports, an effort to deflect scrutiny from the cabaret of legal crime that passed for a trial in Hansher’s courtroom, and to smear and undermine this author.

And a question begs: If official psychological reports can be altered with impunity, what other legal documents can be forged or altered down at the Milwaukee County Courthouse?

Honorable mention for Lawyer Margaret O’Connor: paralegal and lackey for lawyer Kohler at that time. O’Connor witnessed all yet she saw nothing, exhibiting Camorra-style loyalty in a mutually-guaranteed circle of corruption. At one time she excused herself with, “I was young and inexperienced,” but has since understood the message delivered by Lawyer Elliott and has herself lawyered up.

Thirty-five thousand years ago Homo Sapiens began to organise as tribes. This momentous evolutionary step led to the current social conquest of the Earth by humans. But the tribe can subsume individual values, ethics, morals and beliefs.

Actor Jack Nicholson’s line that, “You cant handle the truth!” in the movie A Few Good Men is more than dramatic hyperbole; it can be fact. It happened in a Milwaukee courtroom, where the truth would have meant accountability for bad lawyers.

Group think is a property that emerges in a tribe, its roots tangled in an ancient genetic code. For tribal members, a transition to the values of the collective happens without reference to reason or restraint. In return for loyalty to the tribe, the tribe reciprocates by affording individual members the safety and security of not having to admit mistakes, a process so obviously at work in this case.

The information on this blog could never have emerged in Milwaukee, as the interests of the lawyer tribe would have killed it. This was indeed the case regarding the book Beyond Outrage , available on Amazon only because it was published in Switzerland. A judge in Milwaukee ordered that I stop writing about the case. I had to exercise the First Amendment right of free speech from Switzerland.

At one time, Lawyer Robert Elliott spread the falsehood that this author was a fugitive who could not be located. Thus, “he can’t be stopped.” But my location in Switzerland has always been known, as I reported on day one to the first police station that I encountered, explaining my escape from a corrupt legal system in Milwaukee.

This lie was Elliott’s wishful thinking, as he wished that others would think it. I never hid. Elliott and local authorities knew where to find me, but Elliott had no intention of wanting me found. He wanted others to think that a standard fugitive situation applied.

The lawyer tribe affords itself sins and excuses and false reasoning, never needing to be excused or say any sorries. The power that the lawyer tribe has – that no other does – is to delay and deny the truth for extended periods of time, basically wearing out the truth past the time when anyone of significance cares.

It takes courage for a lawyer to expose errors on the part of colleagues, and it takes outstanding courage to expose outright misconduct, as here.

Ninety-nine percent of defence lawyers may accept a case, few will take that case to its legal limit if, in defence of the client, exposing wrongdoing by a colleague is necessary.

In the end of a string of failed appeals the prosecution can nevertheless boast, “The defendant had their right to legal appeal and the conviction stood, American justice has thus been served.”

I have been telling this story since 1998, beginning with published booklets, and in 2011 with the book Beyond-Outrage and, later, Lawyers Broken Bad , and this blog.

But the Milwaukee lawyer tribe, headed by folks like Elliott, Hansher and Kohler, are a tough bunch. Remember when you were a child? “Say you’re sorry!” Reply: “No, and you can’t make me.” This attitude lives on in the adult version of the pattern practiced by the corrupt Milwaukee lawyer tribe.

I have no intention of ending the exposure of these lawyers, despite being advised recently to do so by lawyer Margaret O’Connor. (see blog essay).

As Humphrey Bogart’s detective Sam Spade intoned, “You’ll take it and like it.”

Well, maybe she won’t like it, but all of them will take it.

Mark Inglin
Zermatt, Switzerland
(41) 79 658 8391




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