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Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Wednesday, September 18, 2019-9:52:30P.M.






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Judge denies motion to suspend court proceedings in Hillbroom lawsuit

DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has denied an attorney’s request for the suspension of court proceedings in a malpractice lawsuit.

Barry Israel is one of the two lawyers sued by Junior Larry Hillbroom for malpractice.

Israel’s attorney, Theodore W. Frank, filed an emergency motion to suspend the scheduling order deadlines because of Israel’s pending motion to dismiss, and Lujan’s motion to suspend proceeding due to Hillbroom’s fugitive status.

Lujan said Hillbroom’s whereabouts are unknown “and is most unlikely to appear for the scheduled trial in November.”

Hillbroom was convicted of drug crimes in Palau. He faces up to 30 years in prison, but was given probation. He was allowed to travel to California for drug rehabilitation. Lujan said Hillbroom never showed up for rehab.

In her order, Judge Manglona said she will not “press pause” on scheduling orders simply because a dispositive motion is pending.

“Such an order would necessarily result in delays that would impact the November trial date,” she added.

The jury trial has been set for Nov. 11 at 10 a.m.

Recently, the court granted the request of Hillbroom’s attorney, Rachel A. Dimitruk, to order attorney David J. Lujan to pay for attorney’s fees and costs resulting from Lujan’s deposition conduct.

The court ordered Lujan to pay the plaintiff $20,921.04 for attorney’s fees and cost of deposition.

The court also found Lujan to have unethically communicated with Hillbroom directly.

Hillbroom initially filed the lawsuit against Israel and Lujan separately in 2010.

Hillbroom also sued Keith Waibel, a trustee of Hillbroom’s trust, for conspiracy.

On April 5, 2012, Judge Manglona consolidated the cases into one case.

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven heirs of DHL Corp. founder Larry Lee Hillblom, who died in a plane crash in 1995, leaving behind a $600 million estate.

Israel and Lujan represented Hillbroom when he was a minor in securing $90 million from Hillblom estate.