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NJ Firm Hit with Nearly $1M Verdict for Role in Child Abduction

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 23, 2011 6:42 AM

This is a lesson in how to properly carry out your client's wishes.

Or just a good reason for why you should never hold onto client property unless absolutely necessary.

Located in Hackensack (Hacky Sack?), New Jersey, the Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich law firm just got saddled with a $950,000 verdict for releasing a passport to a mother who then took her child to Spain in violation of a custody agreement.

Pursuant to a 2004 custody agreement between Maria Jose Carrascosa, a native of Spain, and her ex-husband Peter Innes, neither parent was allowed to take their young daughter out of the country, reports The Record.

Carrascosa's attorney at the law firm was supposed to hold the girl's American passport in trust until her 18th birthday.

Clearly, that didn't work out, as the paper reports that the firm gave Carrascosa her daughter's passport and then immediately took her to Spain.

The girl has lived there ever since, and Carrascosa, after returning to the United States, was sentenced to 14 years behind bars for failing to comply with court orders.

If you think this is bad, it could be worse.

Liberty Counsel, the public interest law firm connected to ultra-Christian Liberty Law School, is implicated in the international kidnapping of a young girl that belongs to ex-lesbian partners, one of whom is now an ex-lesbian herself.

That scandal involves the law school's dean, a few professors, an employee or two, a pastor and a rich Christian businessman who also has ties to the law school.

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