Investigator for CA State Bar Probes
Attorney Misconduct Charges Against
Marshall Krause and Sandra Acevedo
According to Jeff Dal Cerro, Assistant to the Chief Trial Counsel for the California State Bar, Lisa Edwards, Investigator for the State Bar, has begun reviewing evidence and contacting witness in their overlapping probe of "Attorney Misconduct" charges against Sandra Acevedo and admitted child abuser, Marshall W. Krause. Several of the individuals connected to these cases have independently confirmed that they have been questioned by Ms. Edwards.
In February of 1998 attorney Marshall Warren Krause pled "No Contest" to WIC Section 300 (a) & (b) charges of child abuse and endangerment for actions against his own daughter, Alanna Krause, in Los Angeles Juvenile Court. There is also a Domestic Violence Restraining against Marshall Warren Krause, issued by Ventura County Superior Court in 1997 and renewed again in 2000.
Four years ago a complaint was filed with the Bar Association by Alanna's mother. The complaint, which asked that Marshall W. Krause be disbarred, was sent on the suggestion of a former California Bar Association Court Judge. The complaint sat until last Autumn when public outcry against the Bar's failure to investigate spurred them into action.
Allegations that the Assistant Chief Trial Counsel is purportedly investigating in regards Marshall Warren Krause supposedly include: 1) the Plea of No Contest to being a “current and future danger” to a minor child; 2) Moral Turpitude and; 3) Suborning Perjury.
The complaint against Ms. Acevedo (State Bar # 129188), the court appointed attorney for the Minor Child in 1993-1994 in Marin County Superior Court case FL 4889, alleges that Ms. Sandra M. Acevedo conspired with Alanna’s father, Marshall Krause, his girlfriend, Lana Clark, LCSW, and others to:
1) commit fraud and illegally obtain money
2) delay, hinder and prevent evidence, testimony and prosecution
3) commit and suborn Perjury
4) commit child abuse, neglect and endangerment
In 1994, Ms. Acevedo was appointed by Commissioner Sylvia K. Shapiro-Pritchard to represent Alanna’s “best interests” in Marin County California Superior Court case FL 4889 – the divorce/custody case of her parents, Marshall W. Krause v. Lauren Krause. Instead of representing her best interests, Alanna alleges that Ms. Acevedo knowingly and willfully colluded with her father, a nationally renowned attorney and past president of the Marin Bar Association, and his girlfriend, Lana Clark, to cover up Mr. Krause’s child abuse of her.
Throughout Family Court FL 4889 proceedings, Alanna, who has written several widely published articles and spoken nationally to conventions and conferences on the issue of Child Abuse, repeatedly told Ms. Acevedo about her father’s abuse and mistreatment of her and asked Ms. Acevedo directly to make these facts known to the court.
Records submitted to the State Bar show that Ms. Acevedo had extensive contact with Alanna teachers and doctors and attended Alanna’s meetings with Child Protective Services. Though Alanna told her teachers and CPS about her father’s abuse, apparently Ms. Acevedo misled them into believing that Alanna’s abuse was being handled by the court, when, in fact, Alanna alleges that Acevedo acted to keep the truth and the issue out of court.
Alanna claims that Ms. Acevedo threatened her mother and her when they tried to bring the truth to the court’s attention themselves. Acevedo supposedly repeatedly attempted to convince Alanna to stop trying to communicate these important facts about her father to the court. Alanna claims that Acevedo ignored medical records of Alanna’s injuries and perjured herself in declarations to the court.
Furthermore, Alanna alleges that Ms. Acevedo maintained intimate constant contact with her father’s girlfriend, Lana Clark, and intruded Clark’s fabrications and false opinions into the case, which heralded Mr. Krause, blamed Alanna’s mother, and undermined and destroyed Alanna’s credibility, despite the fact that she was a child with no motive other than her own safety.
Ms. Acevedo billed nearly $17,000 for her work. Though the court clearly stated it did not have jurisdiction to legally assign Alanna’s mother’s family support to legal fees, Ms. Acevedo took payment from her mother’s family support anyway.
If Ms. Acevedo had done her job, Alanna alleges, the abuse would have been investigated, facts would have been brought into evidence, court rulings might have accorded with evidence, justice might have been done and she might not have had to endure years of her father’s abuse in his full custody. Because Ms. Acevedo willfully did not act in her best interests, Alanna claims to have suffered years of abuse, neglect and endangerment.
The issues related to the Marshall W. Krause case and the Karen Winner investigation of Marin County Family Court have been reported in over 50 articles in every major bay area newspaper for the past 2 years. Those papers include the San Francisco Chronicle, California Lawyer Magazine, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Weekly, the Pacific Sun, the Marin Independent Journal, the Journal of the Bay Area Business Women and the Novato Advance. Further the story has been covered in the National Law Journal, the San Francisco and Los Angeles editions of the Daily Journal legal news and the Marin Court Reporter. KCAL-9 TV in LA did a three part expose on this case in November of 2000.
Marshall W. Krause is the former Counsel, Board Member and Fundraiser for the ACLU of Northern California; Past President of the Marin County Bar Association and partner (of counsel) in the firm of Krause & Baskin. He is still actively practicing as an attorney.
When Mr. Krause pled "No Contest" to WIC Section 300 (a) & (b) charges of child abuse and endangerment for actions against his own daughter, Alanna Krause, the court noted that:
Welfare and Institutions Code 300, (a) and (b) states in relevant part: " (a) the minor has suffered, or there is substantial risk that the minor will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted non accidentally upon the minor by the minor's parent... and (b) there must be evidence that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness."
The Los Angeles Court ruling was based on numerous incidents of Mr. Krause's abuse, which occurred over many years and his inappropriate past and planned placement of a healthy child in a locked, out of state facility.
All charges were investigated by LA social services, who reported that incidents of abuse had been brought to the attention of Marin Child Protective Services nine times and Marin Family Court (Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro), who had failed to take appropriate action.
The LA investigation report was a month long, impartial examination of the Alanna Krause's charges against her father and included testimony and hundreds of pages of evidence.
It reported the evaluation by Dr. Edward Oklan was lacking professionalism and it and the rulings by Marin County Superior Court Commissioner Shapiro-Pritchard were based on "tainted" reports offered by Mr. Krause's family therapist, Lana Clark, LCSW, who had been involved in a "relationship of an intimate nature" with Krause at the time.
Karen Winner reported that Commissioner Shapiro, the attorney she appointed for the minor, Sandra Acevedo, Ed Oklan, Lana Clark and Marin CPS all knew about the abuse and should be investigated for their conspiracy to cover it up.
Despite the documented, actual fact, that Mr. Krause pled No Contest in LA Juvenile Court, several published articles allegedly demonstrate his moral turpitude in publishing untrue statements in the press.
Various newspaper reporters and editors allege that Mr. Krause threatened them with litigation if they did not print his (unsubstantiated) statements wherein he repeatedly denies that he did, in fact, plead no contest.
The various news sources allegedly claim that they couldn't afford to defend themselves against Mr. Krause’s legal actions, even if they were wholly unfounded, because he, as a lawyer could represent himself and incur little or not legal costs, whereas they would go broke defending themselves even if they eventually won. Several papers reported Mr. Krause’s allegedly incorrect statements that: “the juvenile court did not adopt its investigation report”; “the (impartial, unilateral) report was biased”; “all charges against him were dropped,” “adamantly denies that he ever abused his daughter,” and that he “willingly relinquished custody.”
One reporter for the Daily Journal allegedly claimed that Marshall W. Krause denied ever having pled "No contest" to abuse charges.
Mr. Krause's repeated denials of his plea and the LA Juvenile Court findings and rulings may create real and present danger to children in Marin county. Marshall Krause remains actively involved with children in activities of the San Geronimo Community Center, the ride share program of "Go Geronimo" and the student "tutorial" programs in Marin County schools. He has worked on child arts education programs for Lagunitas Public Schools. A news article from the Coast Writers Syndicate alleged that Mr. Krause was named, in another child abuse/custody case, as a pedophile.
In regards "Suborning Perjury," Marshall Krause, an officer of the court, allegedly elicited and paid for false testimony about the mental health of Alanna and her mother from his then girl friend and propertied child therapist, Lana Clark, LCSW. He then allegedly used this false testimony in several legal cases in Marin County Family Court, Ventura County Superior Court, and LA Juvenile Court.
Marshall Warren Krause allegedly submitted the false testimony he obtained from Ms. Clark to the psychological evaluators in two counties, state agencies and private medical facilities.
When Mr. Krause’s 1995 alleged abuse of Alanna was witnessed by her public school teacher and required hospitalization, Mr. Krause used these perjurious declarations regarding Alanna’s mental health to discredit the child’s reports of the incident to her physicians and later to have her inappropriately admitted to an out of state, locked, treatment facility. Keeping Alanna locked up out of state and out of communication, Mr. Krause was able to hinder, delay, and prevent further investigation of his child abuse that might have continued by Marin Child Protective Services and Marin Family Court.
When Alanna ran away from him in 1997, Mr. Krause allegedly submitted the false testimony he obtained from Ms. Clark to various state agencies, including but not limited to, courts and police and social service agencies in Marin, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. This initially blocked Alanna from obtaining their necessary help and protection by convincing public servants that both mother and daughter were dangerously mentally ill.
In her Op-Ed piece for both the SF and LA July 17, 2000 Editions of the Daily Journal, Alanna Krause had this to say about her father, Marshall W. Krause:
HTTP://www.leadershipcouncil.org/Research/PAS/PAS4/pas4.html (For Full Text)
"My father is an abuser, and living with him was a mental and physical hell and definitely not in my best interests. Yet, in Marin Family Court, that seemed to be irrelevant..."
"My father, a wealthy and well connected lawyer, used his influence and money to manipulate the system..."
"The judge, Sylvia Shapiro-Pritchard, an admitted long-time friend of my father's, rubber-stamped any order my father requested. I wrote the judge letters, called her office and did everything I could to make myself heard. She ignored my pleas. I had no rights."
"Finally, one day my father threw me into a stone wall at school and a teacher called Child Protective Services..."
"...My father panicked. He had worked so hard to build a delicate set of lies to present himself as the well-meaning parent... The truth was his worst fear..."
"Acting quickly, he had my therapist, his lover (Lana Clark), suddenly decide I was dangerously troubled and needed to be locked up. So I, an 11-year old straight-A student who had never tried sex, drugs or alcohol, nor ever been in a fight, found myself in an out of state lock down facility with 17-year old drug-dealing gang-banging street kids.
I was beaten up, taunted and was blocked from communicating with the outside world. I was forced into therapy where they tried to brainwash me into believing my mother was insane, that my father's drug use didn't exist and that the abuse my father inflicted on me was all in my head."
Alanna Krause, a National Merit Scholar who scored a perfect 800 on her SAT verbal exam is now a college sophomore. She recently filed the complaint against Acevedo with the State Bar; thought to be the first time that a child has brought a case against their court appointed attorney.
Among the documentation submitted to the State Bar are copies of KCAL TV’s
three part investigation “Crimes of Custody” which aired in LA in November 2000 which features Alanna and her mother; Alanna’s editorial, “Letting Children Speak for Themselves-Youth in Court Need Attorneys Who Represent Their Interests Fairly, Strongly”, published in the SF and LA Daily Journal in July 2000; Pertinent sections of “Findings on Judge Michael Dufficy, Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro & Court Appointees in Marin County’s Superior Court in California” by Karen Winner, published by The Justice Seekers, Inc. in February 2000; LA Children’s Social Worker’s Judicial Review Report and LA Juvenile Court rulings; A complete history of the several Krause v. Krause cases in Marin, Ventura and LA County courts with “Attachments” of supporting evidentiary documents as well as Ms. Acevedo’s itemized bills revealing the extent of her involvement and influence in Alanna’s case.
In a related story the National Center for State Courts cited the need for further investigations of allegations of bias and inappropriate behavior by judicial officers in there recently submitted report on the operations of the Marin County Family Court. Their report would appear to confirm the State Bar probe. The Krause file was not among those reviewed because it was allegedly illegally sealed by Commissioner Shapiro-Pritchard, effectively blocking any oversight of the case.
The National Center for State Courts Operational Review of Marin County Family Court issued in February of 2002, noted that "...during the course of the operational review, issues concerning specific individuals were raised. There appeared to be a serious split in the legal community and citizens of Marin County about the existence of bias, cronyism and favoritism in the past on the part of some judicial officers.
The report calls for: "The Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Marin County form a Family Law Select Committee, comprised of judges, commissioners, lawyers and appropriate members of the Marin County community to advise the court regarding implementing systemic changes..." and that "The court find some way for the public to give its input during the process of rule revision..."
"In order to determine whether there was bias in the system or in a particular case, a far more extensive investigation would need to be performed, an investigation that would include the opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses and not
have to rely solely on the beliefs of dissatisfied litigants and their attorneys."
The NCSC raised three questions regarding allegations of bias and inappropriate conduct:
"Whether appointments of experts made by certain judges in the Marin County's Family Law Division reflected judicial bias and personal favoritism."
"Whether some family law bench officers behaved in an inappropriately informal manner in terms of courtroom procedures, engaged in inappropriately informal interactions with some attorneys during court procedures, and exhibited a demeaning attitude toward some litigants and lawyers"
"Whether some members of the bench of the Family Law Division of the Superior Court of Marin County exhibited bias in favor of certain attorneys with whom they were friends or social acquaintances."
In detailing the limits of their operational review, the NCSC report specifically noted: "Determining the existence of judicial bias was beyond the scope of this operational review" and that "The existence of inappropriate behavior on the part of individual judicial officers was beyond the scope of this operational review. "
The only way to determine there was bias or inappropriate behavior by judicial officers, the report noted "a far more extensive investigation would need to be performed, an investigation that would include the opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses..."
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