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  Home :: 2007 September :: Attorney John Aretakis blasted in court by U.S. District Judge

Attorney John Aretakis blasted in court by U.S. District Judge

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Attorney John Aretakis said, "When the judge first came out on the bench, he was dripping mad."

When attorney John Aretakis went to Federal Court for a recent pro bono case, he knew he was in for it.

"This judge went out of his way to not only criticize me and attack me, but he's effectively saying I basically found aclient on the street that would advance my agenda," he said.

Aretakis is best known for representing church sex abuse victims and also for getting involved in similar protests.

The case in question wasn't about that. Instead, it involved atransplanted Hurricane Katrina victim who claimed to have been unfairly treated by the church and FEMA.

But US District Judge Gary Sharpe said Aretakis had no basis to make such a legal argument. Judge Sharpe called Aretakis' arguments against FEMA absurd - suggesting Aretakis even run for Senate if he was interested in fixing problems.

In the transcript of the ruling, Judge Sharpe said, "It's crystal clear what's going on here...more of the same of the conduct for which you've been sanctioned by numerous courts."

Aretakis admits he's been sanctioned twice before -- one was overturned, the other is on appeal.

Going further in his oral ruling, Sharpe imposed sanctions on Aretakis, accusing him of using the case to advance his own church sex abuse agenda.

"About four or five paragraphs, in a minor way, reference clergy sex abuse, out of 133 paragraphs," said Aretakis.

"Sanctions are not unheard of, but they really are quite rare, and probably most attorneys do not have sanctions on their records, legal expert Paul Der Ohannesian explained.

Sanctions basically mean fines - in this case, over $24,000.

"It is something that goes on a record and is something to be considered perhaps down the road," said Der Ohannesian.

Judge Sharpe gave Aretakis a week to argue why he shouldn't be punished. Aretakis says he will take full advantage of that.

"Papers are ready almost now," said Aretakis.

A spokesman said the church had no comment on the case.

As for the advice on the Senate run, Aretakis say she's actually considering it on a state level, against Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. He says he's serious.

"The judge may have offered unintended good advice. I have considered for the past year running against Joe Bruno. Family members have offered me a blank check to run," he said.

Bruno responded by saying, "I don't choose my opponents. I just beat them."


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia