DISBARRED LAWYER SUES JUDGES
By BRAD HAMILTON
February 19, 2003 -- A veteran Queens lawyer who was disbarred last April has filed a federal suit against two state Supreme Court judges, claiming they signed off on a conspiracy to swindle him out of real estate worth $3.8 million.
In the suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, Israel Weinstock, 67, alleges the judges helped a rival lawyer, Emmerich Handler, and Handler's attorneys obtain control of two Brooklyn apartment buildings.
The ownership dispute between Weinstock and Handler has been going on since 1984.
At the center of the allegations is Supreme Court Justice Richard D. Huttner, who was transferred from Brooklyn to Queens last year after the state found he'd improperly used his position as a jurist to force a settlement involving the Manhattan co-op where he lives.
Weinstock charges in court papers that Huttner ignored evidence in the apartment-building dispute favorable to Weinstock because Handler and his associates contributed 5 percent of Huttner's campaign fund.
The suit charges that Huttner eventually passed the case to the second judge named in the suit, Brooklyn Justice Lewis L. Douglass, who awarded the properties to Handler in 1997.
The suit says Huttner's son made "a substantial contribution" to Douglass' campaign.
The suit also says two state Appellate Division Grievance Committee officials disbarred Weinstock without due process - to prevent him from exposing the scheme. And it also names four Appellate Division judges who ruled against him at various times.
The suit asks the federal court to toss out the disbarment.
Weinstock told The Post that the alleged conspiracy was allowed by a "clubhouse judiciary, where members protect each other."
Handler, 80, called the charges "absolutely not true" but declined to discuss the specific allegations.
None of the other parties in the suit could be reached for comment.