Here is a case from Middletown spriling up and up, with new plaintiffs grabbing on as the case continues. As reported in the Herald Press/Middletown.com:
By MELISSA BAILEY, The Herald Press10/30/2005
MIDDLETOWN — “Dennis Anziano, a former Madison chief of police convicted of robbing his elderly parents, is the latest to file a lawsuit against Stephen T. Gionfriddo, stating that as his lawyer, Gionfriddo, milked him for thousands of dollars in 2004.
Gionfriddo, a retiring member of Middletown’s Common Council and former mayor, gave up his law license in July after a Middletown couple claimed he misappropriated $98,000 from the sale of their home. Five former clients and Gionfriddo’s father and brother have all filed suits against Gionfriddo, claiming legal malpractice and thousands of dollars in disappearing funds.
Anziano was charged in July 2004 of fraudulently gaining power of attorney over his elderly parents’ estate, then using that power to embezzle over $400,000 from the estate. Anziano’s wife, Patricia, a co-plaintiff in this suit, was charged with conspiring with her husband in that embezzlement.
Patricia Anziano has also filed a recent suit. Hers claims Three Rivers Community College unjustly fired her from her job as director of the criminal justice program after the bilking incident.
Dennis and Patricia Anziano hired Gionfriddo on three matters — the criminal case and two others. Anziano claims Gionfriddo took a total of $10,500 in retainers but failed to properly represent him in court.
He hired Gionfriddo in January 2004 to represent him in a challenge by his sister over who should have power of attorney over the estate. Anziano claims Gionfriddo took $1,500 but failed make a full defense against Anziano’s sister, who accused Anziano of fraudulence in acquiring power of attorney.
Anziano again hired Gionfriddo in August 2004 in defense against his parents’ newly appointed conservator. He claims Gionfriddo was reckless and negligent in presenting his case after accepting a $15,000 legal fee.
Anziano, 57, is serving five years’ probation, suspended after 10 years, after pleading no contest in April to first-degree larceny. He has been ordered to pay restitution to his parents for their lost funds.”
�The Middletown Press 2005