An Illumination News Staff Report

ACLU's Fundraiser Denies Abuse Charge
but Evidence Contradicts his Claim

Marshall W. Krause, Asserts He Never Pled "Guilty" or
"No Contest" to Abuse of  Daughter

Juvenile Court Records Prove his "No Contest" Plea to WIC Section 300 (a) & (b)
Charges of Child Abuse and Endangerment.

Ever since February of 2000, when the Karen Winner Report on Marin County Family Court was released, attorney Marshall Krause, a long time affiliate of the ACLU of Northern California, has denied abusing his daughter. "Nor did I plead guilty or no contest to anything regarding abuse."

Despite Krause's claims, the records of Los Angeles Juvenile Court from January of 1998  indicate that he did in enter a plea of "No Contest" to WIC Section 300 (a) & (b) Charges of Child Abuse and Endangerment. (See scanned document following this article.)

Subsequently a complaint against Krause filed with the California State Bar asked that he be disbarred.  Public denial of the plea, opens him up to the additional charge of Moral Turpitude.

On June 27, 2002  Jeff  Dal Cerro, Assistant to the Chief Trial Counsel for the California State Bar, confirmed their investigation of Marshall Warren Krause for attorney misconduct is still open and ongoing. Several of the individuals connected to the case acknowledge having been questioned by State Bar staff.

Welfare and Institutions Code 300, (a) and (b) state in relevant parts: " (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."

Currently a member of the Freedom Circle Steering Committee of the ACLU of Northern California, Krause earned fame early on in his career by winning numerous cases on their behalf in the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is honored as one of their dedicated volunteers who seek major contributions on behalf of the ACLU Foundation.

Krause is a former Counsel and Board Member for this ACLU branch, as well as Past President of the Marin County Bar Association and a partner (of counsel) in the firm of Krause & Baskin. He authored the textbook, "California Search and Seizure Practice." In his most recent case before the California Supreme Court, Bill Lockyer, State Attorney General supported him with an Amicus Curiae brief.

According to Jeff Dal Cerro, investigators for the State Bar have begun reviewing evidence and contacting witness in their overlapping probe of  "Attorney Misconduct" charges against Krause and Marin Family Law attorney Sandra Acevedo.  Acevedo was appointed attorney for Krause's daughter by then Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro Pritchard to represent the child's best interests.

The complaint against Sandra M. Acevedo, filed this past January, alleges that she conspired with Krause and others to commit fraud and illegally obtain money; delay, hinder and prevent evidence, testimony and prosecution; commit and suborn perjury; and commit child abuse, neglect and endangerment.

Despite these allegations, Acevedo still serves as the chair of the Marin County Bar Association's Family Law Committee.

The LA Juvenile Court investigation in was a month long, impartial examination of charges against Krause and included testimony by numerous witnesses and hundreds of pages of evidence. The courts rulings were based on numerous incidents of abuse by Krause, which occurred over many years and his inappropriate past and planned placement of a healthy child in a locked, out of state facility.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Krause insists that "I always treated Alanna well, never mistreated her and did a damn good job as a single parent."

He also claims that Alanna's story was, "retracted by her to the Marin CPS which found the charges unsubstantiated, and was never proven."

The LA Juvenile investigation noted that  that incidents of abuse had been brought to the attention of Marin Child Protective Services nine times and Commissioner Shapiro Pritchard, both of whom who had failed to take appropriate action. It also reported evaluations by Dr. Edward Oklan were lacking professionalism and that they, and the rulings by Shapiro-Pritchard were based on "tainted" reports offered by social worker Lana Clark, who had been involved in an intimate relationship of an intimate with Krause at the time.

When Krause’s 1995 alleged abuse of his daughter was witnessed by her public school teacher and required hospitalization, he used the perjurious declarations regarding his daughter's mental health to discredit her reports of the incident to her physicians.  Krause then had her inappropriately admitted to an out of state, locked, treatment facility. By keeping his daughter institutionalized and out of communication, Krause was able to hinder, delay, and prevent any further investigation of his actions.

When his daughter latter ran away from him, Krause allegedly submitted the false testimony he obtained from Clark to various state agencies, including courts, police and social service agencies in Marin, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.  This initially blocked Alanna from obtaining their protection by convincing public servants that both mother and daughter were dangerously mentally ill.

Alanna, now an honors student at Northwestern University, has this to say about her father in her Op-Ed piece for the July 17, 2000 Editions of the Daily Journal:

"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."

The issues related to the Krause case and corruption in Family Court have been reported in over 100 articles since the release of the Winner report, including  the San Francisco Chronicle, California Lawyer Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Weekly, the Pacific Sun, The Los Angeles Daily News,  the Marin Independent Journal, the National Law Journal, the Daily Journal legal news and the Marin Court Reporter.

In November of 2000, KCAL-9 TV in LA did a three part expose, "Crimes of Custody," on Alanna's case.  She and her mother were both interviewed, but Mr. Krause declined any participation.

In addition to the Karen Winner Report: “Findings on Judge Michael Dufficy, Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro Pritchard & Court Appointees in Marin County’s Superior Court in California," the issue of family court corruption has now been taken up by the California Chapter of  the National Organization for Women.  NOW recently released a 135 page report that detailed the lack of ethics and proper courtroom codes in the family law system.  According to Rachel Allen, a CA NOW spokeswoman, Marin County is one of their focal points.  "...Judges, attorneys and other personnel are lining each other's pockets instead of acting in the best interests of the child."

The National Center for State Courts whose Operational Review of  Marin County Family Court was issued in February of 2002,  cited the need for further investigations of allegations of bias and inappropriate behavior by judicial officers.

The NCSC questioned,  "Whether appointments of experts made by certain judges in the Marin County's Family Law Division reflected judicial bias and personal favoritism," and "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."

Specific evidence of Marshall Krause's plea is noted in the hearing report from 1/12/98 which appears below as follows:

Item 4) Note Father's motions are argued and denied.
The original WIC 300 petition is dropped in favor of an amended one.
Item 12) Section WIC 300 is described as A & B.
Item 13) Father pled "No Contest".
Item 15) Section 300 A is sustained.
Item 16) Section 300 B is sustained.

By Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Daily News © June 25, 2002

The family court system in California is "crippled, incompetent and  corrupt" and enriches judges, attorneys and mental-health professionals at the expense of children, according to a new report to be released today by the California branch of the National Organization for Women.

After a three-year inquiry, the report's authors concluded that the state's family law courts have developed into "full employment programs" for  private court mediators, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors,  educators and attorneys. "What we are seeing is a lack of ethics and proper courtroom codes in the family law system," said Rachel Allen, public relations director for NOW.  "As a result, judges, attorneys and other personnel are lining each other's pockets instead of acting in the best interest of the child."

Family courts, part of the Superior Court, are devoted to cases involving divorce, child custody, paternity and similar issues.

Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said the inquiry was an interesting project, but the family court judges would like to see the report before making comments.

"We have some questions about the methodology in terms of how the data was [sic] developed and to what extent this is randomized data," Parachini said. "Our position would be that our system does the best job it can, that it obviously can be improved, but we do not feel we are complicit with ...  money grabbing."

The report was based partly on court files, interviews with people involved with child-custody cases and data from 300 parents who filled out an extensive Internet questionnaire. ....

Authors of the report charge that organizations purporting to provide nonprofit continuing education and support services for family law attorneys are a form of corporate fraud with an ulterior motive for perpetuating a corrupt system.

The report follows the April release of an audit by the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association that found judges treated themselves to golf tournaments, ocean dinner cruises and other outings with money from an obscure fund, started in 1960, partially supported by child-custody and support cases.

The association found that judges were not improperly influenced in legal cases by funds contributed by attorneys and clients involved in child-custody and support cases. ....

NOW will release the report today and, along with the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch, will hold a press conference in Los Angeles. The conference is scheduled after a hearing in the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal involving a Sierra Madre resident who lost custody of her daughter in 1998 after alleging that the father had abused the girl.



Marin Independent Journal Report: Family Court System Needs Repair

The Net Effect: Family court litigants use the Internet to get online what they can't get in
court. By Benjamin Howell © California Lawyer Magazine Article,6,02.htm

CA State Bar Probes Attorney Misconduct Against Marin's Marshall Krause & Sandra Acevedo,24,02.htm,statebar,12,10,01.htm

Marin N.O.W. Meets on Family Court Abuses

Judging Family Law

Marin Teen Files with State Bar Against Court Appointed Lawyer,7,02.htm

Daily Journal Op Ed: Kids Speak Out Against Abuses of Family Court,statebar,12,10,01.htm

"Small Justice," a film by Garland Waller

The NCSC Report on Marin Courts is on the web (National Center for State Courts)

Probate Court Problems in Marin

Marin Family Court:

"Bay Area Business Women" on Family Court Abuse,30,01.htm

Investigative Writer, Karen Winner, "The Winner Report"

National Coalition for Family Court Justice

A Teen's Courage in the Face of Her Father's Abuse,15,01.htm

Marin Psychiatrist & Evaluator, Edward Oklan:

Other Websites & Articles on Child Abuse & Custody Issues

Ohio Teen Fights Back Against Abuse,15,01.htm

Marin Judge, Michael Dufficy:

Marin Commissioner, Sylvia Shapiro-Pritchard:,statebar,12,10,01.htm

Marin Lawyer, Marshall Krause:,statebar,12,10,01.htm

Marin court Administrator, John Montgomery:,30,01.htm

Social Worker, Lana Clark:

Family Court Lawyer, Sandra Acevedo:

Abuse in Marin & Sonoma

National Coalition for Family Court Justice

Other Websites & Articles on Child Abuse & Custody Issues