Daughter's Sex-Abuse Suit Jeopardized by Lawyers Copying Notebook
Oct. 23, 1990
BANGOR, Maine (AP) _ Lawyers for a woman suing her parents over alleged physical and sexual abuse during her childhood have admitted copying a notebook containing the defense lawyers' trial strategy.
''The ramifications of this situation are of great proportions and great seriousness,'' Superior Court Justice Herbert T. Silsby II said Monday as he scheduled a hearing next week to determine if the trial should proceed.
The trial has consumed three weeks and was expected to last two more.
Joanne Goldman, 28, of Brewer, sued for $10 million in damages for alleged physical and sexual abuse by her father, Sol I. Goldman, throughout her childhood and early adulthood at their home in New York City and their vacation home in Eastbrook, Maine.
The lawsuit alleges her mother, Gladys L. Goldman, failed to meet her responsibility to stop the alleged abuse.
Both parents have denied the allegations.
Silsby abruptly halted testimony in the case Friday, but the reason did not become clear until the lawyers returned for a hearing Monday. One of the plaintiff's lawyers, Elizabeth Kelly Ebitz, said she had inadvertently picked up the defense lawyers' notebook after it was left on the plaintiff's table. She admitted copying it.
''We did engage in improper conduct,'' said Ebitz's associate, Judith Thornton.
One of the team of attorneys representing the parents, Jules Mogul, said today he plans to call four or five witnesses at the hearing on whether the trial should continue.
''The whole story should come out,'' Mogul said, adding that he was confident the judge would stop the trial.
''I doubt that the case could continue under the circumstances,'' he said.
Ebitz did not immediately return a telephone message at her Bangor law office this morning.