Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Edwin R. Jonas III

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Docket No.: BAR-13-16

Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: June 25, 2015

Respondent: Edwin R. Jonas III

Bar Number: 003553

Order: Reinstatement Denied

Disposition/Conduct: Petition for Reinstatement Denied


Edwin R. Jonas III Petition for Reinstatement to the Maine Bar

JUDGMENT

Edwin R. Jonas III has filed a petition for reinstatement to the Maine bar pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j). I conducted a de novo hearing in the matter on April 27 and 28, 2015. See M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(6). Jonas personally appeared at the hearing, and was represented by James M. Bowie, Esq. Deputy Bar Counsel Aria Eee, Esq., represented the Board of Overseers of the Bar. The following witnesses testified at the hearing: Jonas, Frederick Popovitch, Edward Murphy, Roderick Hannah, and Philip Defelice.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

I have considered the testimony of witnesses presented during the de novo hearing in April, the documents admitted in evidence at that hearing, the findings and conclusions made by various courts in prior proceedings in which Jonas was a party, and the parties’ arguments. To ensure that the basis for my findings is clear, in various places throughout this decision, I have included citations to the record evidence and Jonas’s litigation history on which I relied in making those findings.1 Some of the cases were specifically provided by the parties at hearing, and others were found in electronic databases that are publicly available.

Based on the evidence presented at the de novo hearing, I make the following factual findings by clear and convincing evidence. See M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5). Jonas graduated from law school in 1974. That same year, he was admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania, and was then admitted to the bar of New Jersey in 1975. He engaged in private practice in Pennsylvania, and then in New Jersey.

In 1987, Jonas took and passed the Maine bar exam and was admitted to the Maine bar. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife separated. A contentious and protracted series of divorce proceedings followed, spanning multiple decades and several jurisdictions. It is Jonas’s conduct during these proceedings that ultimately led to his professional disciplinary troubles. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005), aff’d, 889 A.2d 1055 (N.J. 2006); Pl. Ex. 10.

A. New Jersey

Jonas and his wife, Linda, divorced in 1990. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005). At the time, they had three minor children. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Bd. Ex. 21.

Post-judgment litigation between Jonas and Linda continued through the first half of the 1990s. Linda moved several times to enforce the divorce judgment. Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89, Docket (N.J. Family Ct.). Jonas, in turn, filed numerous motions to reduce his spousal support obligation, to reconsider, to stay enforcement, for a change of venue, to compel Linda to undergo an evaluation by a vocation/rehabilitation expert, and the like, resulting in three separate appeals to the New Jersey Appellate Division between 1990 and 1995. Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89, Docket (N.J. Family Ct.); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997); Pl. Ex. 23. The New Jersey Supreme Court also denied Jonas’s petition for certiorari in 1992. Jonas v. Jonas, 614 A.2d 618 (N.J. 1992). By 1995, custody of the children had been awarded to Jonas, and Linda had been ordered to pay him child support. As Jonas explained during the hearing, her obligation to pay him, however, was offset by his obligation to pay her spousal support.

In 1995, a series of decisions that Jonas had made was discovered, changing the course of his life. Apparently tired of being required to pay what he considered to be an unfair amount of spousal support, Jonas took action to undermine the divorce judgment, avoid his support obligations, misrepresent his financial status, and interfere with Linda’s contact with the children. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).

On August 10, 1995, while the parties were in court to dispute their most recent competing motions concerning child support and spousal support obligations, Linda moved for an order to show cause with the New Jersey Superior Court. In that document, Linda asserted that Jonas was secretly liquidating assets and hiding those proceeds in accounts in the Cayman Islands, and that he planned to move with the children to the Cayman Islands. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). Jonas denied Linda’s claims, characterizing them as “absolutely outrageous, frivolous, hysterical, and ridiculous.” In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).

The court (Page, J.), apparently having accepted Jonas’s representations that he had no plan to liquidate assets or remove the children from the United States, denied Linda’s request that custody of the children be immediately granted to her; denied her request that their passports be surrendered; denied her request that Jonas be required to post a bond; and set the matter for a hearing to be held on September 21, 1995. To maintain the status quo until that hearing could be conducted, the court did issue an order on August 10, 1995, requiring that the children could not be removed from a five-state area consisting of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and prohibiting Jonas from transferring any assets valued at over $15,000. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).

Shortly thereafter, Jonas filed a motion to vacate that order. In response, Linda filed affidavits indicating, inter alia, that, contrary to Jonas’s assertions, he was negotiating to sell an income-producing asset. The court ordered that Linda’s counsel hold the children’s passports until further order.

Jonas’s response was to seek Judge Page’s recusal and a change of venue. The court denied both motions, and the previously-scheduled hearing was held over three days during September of 1995. Jonas failed to appear at the hearing, despite having been given notice of the hearing. Jonas’s attorney, Frederick Popovitch, represented to the court that he did not know where Jonas was. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). When Attorney Popovitch testified in April of 2015, he stated that “unbeknownst to [him], [Jonas] had been planning to flee with the two younger boys.”

The evidence presented in hearings through 1995 demonstrated that Linda’s concerns regarding Jonas’s management of his assets and accounts were well founded:

  • By the time Linda sought relief, Jonas had sold his office building and had removed his belongings from the building. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Soon after the August 10, 1995, order prohibiting him from transferring property valued above $15,000, Jonas obtained a $130,000 mortgage on his residential property in New Jersey and transferred those funds to an account in the Cayman Islands. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • Although he had assured the court that he had no intent to liquidate or transfer further assets, and in direct violation of the August 10, 1995, order prohibiting him from doing so, Jonas purported to create a trust to benefit the children, named his sister and a friend as co-trustees, and transferred the deed to his New Jersey home into that trust. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997); Pl. Ex. 20.
  • Although he denied selling or listing for sale a commercial building he rented out as a 7-Eleven convenience store, Jonas already had taken steps toward selling or refinancing that property, and continued those efforts even a day or two after the August 10, 1995, order was issued. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A 1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Later that month, Jonas deeded the 7-Eleven store to his sister and friend to be held in trust for the children. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).

  • Jonas moved his and the children’s belongings from his New Jersey home to a location in Pennsylvania near his sister. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). In fact, Jonas had asked movers to load the belongings from the back of the home at night, so as not to be seen; the movers refused. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • Jonas secretly kept a total of $438,000 in a bank account in the Cayman Islands. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Linda’s concerns regarding Jonas’s plan to take the children to the Cayman Islands were also well founded:

  • On July 31, 1995, Jonas filled out immigration forms indicating that he and all three children planned to move to the Cayman Islands in September of that year “[p]ermanently if approved.”2 Bd. Ex. 35.
  • Jonas informed friends that he was quitting the practice of law and moving with the children to the Cayman Islands, where he had purchased a home for $300,000. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Jonas tried to convince a friend to move to the Cayman Islands with him, where, Jonas said, no court could reach him. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • On August 22, 1995, the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration granted Jonas’s request that he and the children be permitted to reside in that country. Bd. Ex. 35
  • On September 15, 1995, with the show cause hearing scheduled to occur, Jonas absconded with the children to the Cayman Islands, where he enrolled them in school. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • During the April 2015 hearing, Jonas testified that the New Jersey Superior Court Judge Page had dealt with him so unfairly that he could only assume that the court was corrupt and conspiring with Linda and her attorney, or demonstrating personal animus against him. A review of Judge Page’s 1995 and 1996 orders, however, demonstrates that the court’s actions were reasonable and rational. To the extent that the remedies imposed became more severe, they did so only as Jonas’s conduct became increasingly egregious:

  • When Jonas told the judge that he had no plans to liquidate his property, leave the jurisdiction, or take his children away from their mother, the judge accepted his statements, and simply instructed Jonas to keep the children in the five-state region, and not to transfer any asset valued at over $15,000. The court denied Linda’s requests that the children be placed in her custody, or that Jonas be ordered to surrender the children’s passports or even post a bond. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • After the court learned that Jonas absconded with the children, the court ordered Jonas to personally appear at a hearing on September 21, 1995. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • Only when Jonas failed to appear for the previously-scheduled show cause hearing—and the court heard evidence that Jonas had fled the jurisdiction with the children, failed to pay spousal support, and taken actions to hide or dissipate his assets—did the court respond with further orders. The court issued a warrant for Jonas’s arrest, placed the children in Linda’s custody, and allowed Linda to take possession of all the children’s property. In order to prevent Jonas from avoiding his responsibility for complying with the financial obligations imposed by previous court orders, the court appointed Linda as receiver to collect the rents from the 7-Eleven building, authorized Linda to enter Jonas’s home and storage area in Pennsylvania to investigate and inventory their contents, prohibited Jonas’s law partner from disbursing firm funds to Jonas, ordered the Veterans’ Administration to forward Jonas’s disability payments to Linda for child support and spousal support, granted Linda attorney fees of more than $9000, and ordered Jonas to surrender the children’s passports. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Sometime after Jonas returned the children to the United States, he himself returned and requested that the court vacate all of its orders stemming from the Cayman Islands incident. The court denied his request, and issued a decision intended to prevent Jonas from repeating his improper actions. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). On October 25 and 27, 1995, the court ordered Jonas to transfer to Linda’s attorney, Nancy Gold, the sum of $120,000 (representing one year of spousal support, child support, counsel fees, and costs) as security for his continued financial obligations, to pay Linda for attorney fees and spousal support arrearages, to account for all of his assets—domestic and foreign, and to sign releases allowing Linda to obtain his financial information from all foreign and domestic banks. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). The court also gave Linda the exclusive right to sell Jonas’s three remaining properties in the United States (the Florida home, the New Jersey home, and the 7-Eleven building); prohibited Jonas from disposing of those properties himself; and required Jonas to execute deeds transferring to Linda his interest in the New Jersey and Florida properties, which deeds were to be held in escrow but not recorded until further order of the court. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). The court maintained custody of the children with Linda and prevented Jonas from having visitation with the children, but allowed Jonas to speak to the children on the phone. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). The court warned Jonas that if he failed to comply with the order, a warrant for his arrest would be issued. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • After some skirmishes before an appellate court, Jonas was briefly incarcerated for contempt. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). Based on his “general compliance” with the order, Jonas was released from jail on November 6, 1995. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).
  • Later in November, the court held a hearing to re-evaluate Jonas’s support obligations in light of the custody change. In an order dated November 17, 1995, the court set out Jonas’s ongoing child and spousal support obligations; required Jonas to replenish the money he had withdrawn from his eldest son’s bank account; and required Jonas to pay Linda’s attorney $130,000, the amount owed on the New Jersey mortgage. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). The court also ordered that Jonas’s child and spousal support obligations were not to be paid from the $120,000 held in escrow. Instead, those funds were to be used as security for his future payments. The court cautioned Jonas again that failure to comply with the order would result in the issuance of an arrest warrant. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • When Jonas failed to comply with that order, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on November 29, 1995. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM 259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. Nov. 29, 1995); Bd. Ex. 8, 9. The New Jersey Disciplinary Review Board found that that warrant was still active at least as of 2005. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • In December of 1995 and January of 1996, the court addressed Jonas’s further failures to comply with its orders. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). Given Jonas’s bad faith, direct violation of myriad court orders, intentional misrepresentations, and ongoing deceptions, the court ordered that Linda could record the deeds to Jonas’s properties that she had been holding. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court imposed a constructive trust on the New Jersey, Florida, and 7-Eleven properties that allowed Linda, as trustee, to “hold, sell, liquidate, or otherwise dispose of” the properties, and ordered that all proceeds from those properties would be deposited into the trust account of Linda’s attorney, Nancy Gold, to be used to pay Jonas’s past due obligations and to ensure Jonas’s compliance with his future support obligations. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court further calculated the amounts that Jonas owed Linda for such debts as medical reimbursements, support arrearages, reimbursement to the eldest son’s account, and counsel fees (totaling more than $65,000), and ordered that those amounts could be paid from the escrowed funds. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. Jan. 12, 1996); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Pl. Ex. 25. Given these many awards, the assets held in trust by Linda or Gold were quickly depleted. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).
  • In its December 18, 1997, order denying Jonas’s appeal and affirming the series of trial court actions discussed above, the Appellate Division stated: “As evidenced by the record, the defendant time and again failed to abide by the court’s orders and deliberately avoided paying alimony and other support to the plaintiff.” Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); Bd. Ex. 11.
  • Among the many arguments Jonas asserted—in repetitive motions and appeals beginning in 1996—was his contention that Linda and/or Gold had squandered or mismanaged the trust’s assets, which, he argued, should have been sufficient to cover his support obligations. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005); Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). In its December 19, 1997, order, the New Jersey Appellate Division stated: “Should the defendant return to the jurisdiction and cooperate with the court’s orders, the January 12[, 1996,] order provides him with the means to hold the plaintiff accountable for all funds diverted from the trust.” Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997). The court specifically noted that the purpose of the trust was to guarantee Jonas’s spousal support payments. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997).

  • Jonas’s petition to appeal from the 1997 New Jersey Appellate Division decision was denied. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-3734-95-T5/A-1950-96-T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 19, 1997), cert. denied, 758 A.2d 649 (N.J. 2000); see In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).

  • At the hearing in April, Jonas attempted to explain his actions in 1995, 1996, and 1997 by asserting that he believed the court was either biased against him or actually corrupt, and that he was suffering from depression and anxiety. If Jonas had not compounded the lack of judgment and integrity he demonstrated from 1995 until 1997 through his actions over the next twenty-plus years, I would have little trouble accepting Jonas’s explanation and his acknowledgement of responsibility and remorse. As the following recitation shows, however, Jonas continued with his single-minded and grossly erroneous belief that he did not have to comply with court orders. His admission that he is “persistent and bull headed,” although not inaccurate, does not justify his subsequent behavior.

    By 2006, Jonas’s divorce proceedings in New Jersey were again in full swing. Linda again moved to enforce the prior judgments with regard to child support, spousal support, and other expenses; Jonas once again requested an accounting of the trust assets and appointment of an independent receiver, and again alleged that Linda’s actions throughout the matrimonial proceedings had been fraudulent. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); Pl Ex. 27. When Jonas failed to attend an April 2006 hearing on those motions, the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, which bars a litigant from seeking relief in a court whose jurisdiction he has otherwise evaded, became an issue. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); see Matsumoto v. Matsumoto, 792 A.2d 1222, 1227-37 (N.J. 2002); Pl. Ex. 27. At Jonas’s request, the court agreed to continue the hearing to allow counsel an opportunity to research the issue, but required Jonas to personally appear at the next hearing date. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); Pl. Ex. 27.


    Jonas did not appear at that next hearing date and, as a result, on May 4, 2006, the New Jersey trial court issued a judgment in which it granted the relief requested by Linda and, based on the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, dismissed without prejudice Jonas’s various requests for relief. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 23, 2006); Jonas v. Jonas, FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 4, 2006); Bd. Ex. 7, 10. The court stated that if Jonas posted a sufficient bond to cover his outstanding judgments and personally appeared before the court, all outstanding warrants would be vacated and Jonas could be heard on the substance of his requests. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008); Jonas v. Jonas, FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 4, 2006). In orders issued later that month, the court awarded Linda $243,000 for unpaid spousal support from 1999 to 2005; $18,000 for unpaid child support for 1999; $4759.50 for Jonas’s share of medical insurance and expenses; $103,991.05 for attorney fees and costs Linda incurred from 1999 to 2005 attempting to enforce the prior New Jersey orders in New Jersey and elsewhere; $147,205.35 in interest; ongoing spousal support of $3000 per month; and counsel fees and costs of $7552.50 for defending the 2006 proceedings. Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 23, 2006); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89, Order for Counsel Fees (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 23, 2006); Bd. Ex. 10A. In total, Jonas was ordered to pay Linda over $695,000. Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM 04 259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 23, 2006); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89, Order for Counsel Fees (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 23, 2006); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011).

    In ruling on Jonas’s appeal from those orders, the Appellate Division held that the trial court’s application of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine was “reasoned and tempered” given Jonas’s “obstinate refusal to comply or properly respond to court orders,” and stated, “His defiance is especially egregious in light of the fact that he was an attorney-at-law of this State and was suspended in this State and others for his willful evasion of court orders.” Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008). The Appellate Division applied the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to Jonas’s appeal, and dismissed the appeal on that basis. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A 5241-05T1, 2008 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1006 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 30, 2008). The New Jersey Supreme Court denied Jonas’s petition for a writ of certiorari. Jonas v. Jonas, 950 A.2d 905 (N.J. 2008).

    Rather than satisfy the 2006 judgments, however, Jonas filed two back to back identical post-judgment motions in the trial court seeking relief from those 2006 judgments and, as on prior occasions, an accounting and appointment of an independent receiver. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-1118-10T2, 2011 N.J. Super Unpub. LEXIS 3111 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 29, 2011), cert. denied, 40 A.3d 733 (N.J. 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. Sept. 17, 2010); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 15, 2009); Bd. Ex. 7A, 7B, 12. Jonas’s only contention in the motions was that, because his attorney could not find any warrant for his arrest, he was not a “fugitive.” Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-1118-10T2, 2011 N.J. Super Unpub. LEXIS 3111 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 29, 2011). Those attempts were, predictably, unsuccessful, as were his subsequent appeals from the denials of his motions. Jonas v. Jonas, No. A-1118-10T2, 2011 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3111 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Dec. 29, 2011), cert. denied, 40 A.3d 733 (N.J. 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. Sept. 17, 2010); Jonas v. Jonas, No. FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 15, 2009).

    B. Florida

    Meanwhile, in 1991, Jonas was admitted to the Florida bar. Fla. Bar v. Jonas, No. SC06-695, Report of Referee (Fla. Jan. 23, 2007); Bd. Ex. 4A. Sometime between 1995 and 1997, Jonas moved to Florida. Linda then instituted proceedings in Florida to domesticate the New Jersey judgments so that those judgments could be enforced in that state. See Jonas v. Jonas, 155 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015) (vacating and correcting Jonas v. Jonas, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D 2545 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2014)). In response, Jonas launched multiple—and nearly identical—collateral attacks on the New Jersey judgments in which he filed various claims against Linda, all essentially asserting that Linda had squandered or mismanaged the trust assets, seeking an accounting of the trust, and challenging the enforceability of the New Jersey judgments on the ground that they were obtained through Linda’s fraud. See Jonas v. Jonas, 155 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015). He also sued her attorney, Gold, making the same claims. See Jonas v. Gold, 58 So. 3d 396 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2011); Jonas v. Fid. Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 44 So. 3d 596 (Ct. Dist. Ct. App. 2010).

    As any individual with any training in the law should have anticipated, Jonas’s efforts in Florida were unsuccessful. The Florida courts recognized that Jonas’s remedy for attacking the New Jersey judgments was in New Jersey itself. See Jonas v. Jonas, 155 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015).

    The Florida court allowed Linda to domesticate the New Jersey judgments and awarded Linda additional attorney fees. See Jonas v. Jonas, 155 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015); Jonas v. Jonas, No. CD 97-5825 FB (Fla. Cir. Ct. Sept. 19, 2002); Jonas v. Jonas, No. CD 97-5825 FB (Fla. Cir. Ct. Sept. 19, 2002); Bd. Ex. 6. On Jonas’s appeals, the Florida Court of Appeal affirmed. See Jonas v. Gold, 58 So. 3d 396 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2011); Jonas v. Fid. Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 44 So. 3d 596 (Ct. Dist. Ct. App. 2010), rehearing denied, Jonas v. Fid. Nat’l, No. 4D09-1988, 2010 Fla. App. LEXIS 16832 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010); Jonas v. Jonas, 773 So. 2d 1163 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2000).

    The Florida litigation was finally dismissed in 2013 “based upon priority and comity” given that Jonas had moved to Montana in the meantime, where enforcement proceedings were also instituted; Jonas’s appeal of that decision was likewise affirmed. See Jonas v. Jonas, 155 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015). (“[H]aving been told by two states that he must pursue his claims in New Jersey, [Jonas] should do so.”).

    C. Tax Court

    In 2007, Jonas’s litigation history was expanded to include a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service based on the IRS’s claim of a deficiency in Jonas’s tax payments for 2002 and 2003. Jonas v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 97 T.C.M. (CCH) 1206 (2009); Bd. Ex. 25. The result of that dispute was a 2009 judgment by the United States Tax Court disapproving Jonas’s attempt in both years to deduct from his income $36,000 in spousal support payments he never actually made.3 Jonas v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 97 T.C.M. (CCH) 1206 (2009). On Jonas’s appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Tax Court. Jonas v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 457 F. App’x 655 (9th Cir. 2011).

    D. Montana

    Jonas apparently moved to Montana at some point prior to 2009. See Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388, 2010 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 415 (Dist. Ct. Jan. 25, 2010); Bd. Ex. 18. In December of that year, Linda filed a notice of the New Jersey judgments in the Montana court, once again seeking to enforce the New Jersey court’s still unpaid 2006 judgments. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388, 2010 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 415 (Dist. Ct. Jan. 25, 2010). By that time, Jonas had established a business raising cattle—Blacktail Mountain Ranch Co., LLC, (BMR)—and Linda sought judicial dissolution of BMR and foreclosure on Jonas’s interest in BMR to satisfy the New Jersey judgments. See Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010); Bd. Ex. 13. In 2010, the Montana court issued a writ of execution against Jonas for $1,091,391.21 for the 2006 New Jersey judgments, plus spousal support and interest since then. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010). The court appointed a receiver, judicially dissolved BMR, and directed that proceeds from the sale of BMR’s assets would be used to satisfy the 2006 New Jersey judgments, with any remainder given to Jonas. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010).


    Between 2009 and 2011, Jonas mounted a series of challenges to Montana’s enforcement of the New Jersey judgments through various post-judgment motions and appeals. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, 365 Mont. 558 (Mont. 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010); Bd. Ex. 14, 19, 20. In each, he requested essentially the same relief on essentially the same grounds—the denial of his due process rights, misapplication of res judicata principles, and the inapplicability of full faith and credit to the New Jersey judgments. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, 365 Mont. 558 (Mont. 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010). In each, Jonas was unsuccessful. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, 365 Mont. 558 (Mont. 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 10-0137, 2010 Mont. LEXIS 397 (Mont. Nov. 9, 2010).

    When, by 2012, Jonas had failed to satisfy any of the prior Montana orders requiring his fulfillment of the unsatisfied New Jersey orders, Linda instituted contempt proceedings in Montana. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012). Jonas countered by advancing, for the first time, the argument that because he was not the sole owner of BMR, the dissolution and foreclosure proceedings as to BMR were improper. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09 388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012). In holding that Jonas had waived that argument by failing to raise it in the prior appeals, the Montana court noted that this was Jonas’s third motion to reconsider its enforcement of the New Jersey judgments, and that each motion was denied and those denials affirmed on appeal. Jonas v. Jonas, 308 P.3d 33 (Mont. 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012); Bd. Ex. 15. The court also noted that Jonas had already been cautioned against further protracted litigation, that he had failed to heed that warning, and that Jonas and his counsel “have multiplied the proceedings unreasonably and vexatiously,” for which the court awarded Linda another round of attorney fees and costs. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2012 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 58 (Dist. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012). In a further appeal, the Montana Supreme Court again affirmed the Montana trial court and awarded Linda additional attorney fees. Jonas v. Jonas, 308 P.3d 33 (Mont. 2013). Jonas’s petition for a rehearing was denied, as was his petition for a writ of certiorari filed with the United States Supreme Court. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, 308 P.3d 33 (Mont. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1036 (2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 12 0620 (Mont. Sept. 10, 2013); Bd. Ex. 16.

    By decision dated July 3, 2014, the Montana trial court ruled on the sixteen post-judgment motions that had been filed in the meantime; the court denied each of Jonas’s requests for relief, but granted Linda’s requests for attorney fees and costs in defending Jonas’s motions. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court also granted Linda’s motion to declare Jonas a vexatious litigant, specifically finding that Jonas had willfully abused his litigation skills in his unrelenting advancement of harassing, frivolous, duplicative, single-minded, expensive, burdensome, voluminous, irrelevant, retaliatory, and impertinent arguments that represented yet another of Jonas’s attempts to defy New Jersey’s judgments, and that Jonas had no objective good faith expectation of prevailing in any of those matters. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). In doing so, the court issued a thirty-page decision, to which it attached forty-five pages entitled “Supplemental Findings Regarding Mr. Jonas’s History of Litigation.” Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court directed that Jonas could not submit any filings without the court’s permission and the posting of a sufficient bond to cover litigation fees and costs. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The Montana Supreme Court dismissed Jonas’s appeal of the judgment and assessed fees against Jonas in December of 2014. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DA 14-0485 (Mont. Dec. 9, 2014); Bd. Ex. 17.

    E. Bankruptcy Court

    On February 19, 2010, just one day after the Montana court’s appointment of a receiver in connection with the sale of BMR’s assets, Jonas instituted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Montana, which was later converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on Jonas’s failure to provide required information to the bankruptcy trustee. In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2722 (D. Mont. Aug. 12, 2010); see In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-11, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3247 (D. Mont. July 17, 2012); In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 2544 (D. Mont. June 30, 2011); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Bd. Ex. 26. Linda filed a proof of her priority claim for the $1,091,391.21 judgment as a domestic support obligation. In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2722 (D. Mont. Aug. 12, 2010); see In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-11, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3247 (D. Mont. July 17, 2012); In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-11, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 3798 (D. Mont. Sept. 29, 2011).

    Jonas once again attempted to obfuscate those proceedings by filing an adversary proceeding against Linda within the bankruptcy matter, seeking—in five counts—to void Linda’s judgment lien on the bankruptcy estate and disallow her claims entirely based on his assertions of fraud, and requesting damages from Linda for her filing of the proof of claim and for abuse of the legal process. In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2722 (D. Mont. Aug. 12, 2010).

    In 2010, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana dismissed Jonas’s adversary claims against Linda based on the Rooker Feldman4 doctrine, In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2722 (D. Mont. Aug. 12, 2010), and also held Jonas in contempt for failing to make timely disclosures, In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 3215 (D. Mont. Sept. 16, 2010). Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014).

    In 2011, the Bankruptcy Court agreed to allow Jonas to convert the case back to a Chapter 11 proceeding, but imposed certain conditions, specifically, if Jonas failed to file a timely plan and disclosure statement, the bankruptcy would be dismissed with prejudice, and Jonas and any entity in which Jonas had an ownership interest would be prohibited from seeking bankruptcy relief for at least two years. In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-11, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3247 (D. Mont. July 17, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). In 2012, the Bankruptcy Court dismissed the matter based on Jonas’s failure to file a timely plan and disclosure statement and prohibited Jonas or any Jonas entity from seeking bankruptcy for at least two years. In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-11, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3247 (D. Mont. July 17, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). In doing so, the Bankruptcy Court noted that Jonas’s strategy in the bankruptcy proceeding had been to delay the sale of the bankruptcy estate’s interest in BMR. In re Jonas, No. 10 60248 11, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3247 (D. Mont. July 17, 2012); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014).

    On Jonas’s appeal, the United States District Court for the District of Montana affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s decision, including its prohibition on Jonas being able to seek bankruptcy relief for a period of two years. See Jonas v. Jonas, 599 Fed. App’x 803 (9th Cir. 2015); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). Jonas’s further appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also unsuccessful. Jonas v. Jonas, 599 Fed App’x 803 (9th Cir. 2015); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014).

    F. Federal Suits

    In January of 2013, Jonas (and Jonas, purporting to represent BMR) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Montana against his former attorney there, his former attorney’s law firm, and Hon. Charles B. McNeil, the Montana trial court judge who presided over Linda’s action to domesticate the New Jersey judgments in Montana. See Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13 16 M DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Bd. Ex. 22. Jonas alleged claims for legal malpractice and violation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. See Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013). The suit against Judge McNeil was dismissed based on his immunity from suit. See Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82881 (D. Mont. Mar. 25, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV 09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). BMR was also dismissed from those proceedings based on Jonas’s refusal to obtain counsel for BMR, and his attempt to instead represent BMR on a pro se basis.5 See Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42541 (D. Mont. Mar. 25, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). His remaining claims were decided in favor of the defendants in a summary judgment. See Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169818 (D. Mont. Dec. 2, 2013); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170534 (D. Mont. Aug. 21, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014).

    Also in January of 2013, Jonas filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Montana against a Montana newspaper, editor, and reporter for publishing what he alleged were three defamatory articles about him during his campaign for election as a justice of the peace. See Jonas v. Lake Cnty. Leader, 953 F. Supp. 2d 1117 (D. Mont. 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Bd. Ex. 23. Some of those claims were dismissed in June of 2013 for Jonas’s failure to allege statements that were “capable of bearing a defamatory meaning,” the remaining claims were decided against Jonas in April of 2014, and Jonas then attempted to appeal that decision. Jonas v. Lake Cnty. Leader, 953 F. Supp. 2d 1117 (D. Mont. 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). That appeal appears to be ongoing.

    In May of 2013, Jonas filed a suit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Linda, Gold, and two law firms for their acts in assisting Linda in obtaining the 2006 judgments in New Jersey and enforcing them in Montana. Jonas v. Gold, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65486 (D. N.J. May 13, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). He alleged seven causes of action, including fraud, embezzlement, malpractice, and violation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; in that suit, Jonas also attempted to have the New Jersey federal court restrain the Montana courts from allowing the sale of BMR’s property. Jonas v. Gold, No. 13-2949, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138472 (D. N.J. Sept. 30, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). Those claims were dismissed or decided against Jonas in September of 2014 pursuant to the Rooker Feldman doctrine, and on grounds that Jonas’s complaint failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted and his state law and constitutional claims were time-barred. Jonas v. Gold, 2014 WL 4854484 (D. N.J. Sept. 30, 2014); Jonas v. Gold, No. 13-2949 (D. N.J. Sept. 39, 2014); see Jonas v. Gold, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65486 (D. N.J. May 13, 2014); Bd. Ex. 28. Jonas then continued to challenge the matter in a pro se appeal—in which he purported to represent both himself and BMR—before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Bd. Ex. 27.


    Also in May of 2013, Jonas filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Montana against Linda, Linda’s attorney in Montana, that attorney’s law firm, the receiver appointed by the Montana state court to oversee the liquidation of BMR, and the agents retained by the receiver to assist with the liquidation of BMR’s assets; he alleged causes of action for malpractice, fraud, conversion, and violation of section 1983. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186016 (D. Mont. Aug. 21, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The claims against the receiver and the receiver’s agents were dismissed based on their judicial immunity as appointed judicial officers. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32923 (D. Mont. Mar. 12, 2014); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186016 (D. Mont. Aug. 21, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court dismissed Jonas’s remaining claims based on the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and principles of res judicata. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32923 (D. Mont. Mar. 12, 2014); see Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186016 (D. Mont. Aug. 21, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014).


    Acting sua sponte, the court further ordered Jonas and BMR to show cause why they should not be sanctioned pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 for making frivolous arguments. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32923 (D. Mont. Mar. 12, 2014); Bd. Ex. 24. Jonas responded by challenging the specificity of the court’s show cause order. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). The court therefore determined that Jonas had not shown any good cause for his actions, and issued a sanction in the form of an admonishment. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014). The court concluded, “Referral to disciplinary authorities is an appropriate sanction for violation of Rule 11 identified sua sponte,” and therefore ordered that a copy of its admonishment would be forwarded to the state bars of Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.6 Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014).


    G. Disciplinary Proceedings

    1. New Jersey

      In 1996, the New Jersey State Bar had instituted disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Jonas based on his conduct in his own divorce proceedings. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005). That grievance was placed on “untriable status” until the end of 1999 based on Jonas’s pending divorce litigation. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005). A formal ethics complaint was eventually filed in 2003, and Jonas was suspended from the New Jersey bar for a period of six months effective September 2, 2005, for conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal and conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice. In re Jonas, No. DRB 05 170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005), aff’d, 889 A.2d 1055 (N.J. 2006); Pl. Ex. 9. Jonas has not been reinstated in New Jersey.

    2. Pennsylvania

      In 2006, Mr. Jonas was reciprocally suspended from the bar of Pennsylvania for a period of six months based on the discipline imposed in New Jersey. In re Jonas, No. 1158 Disciplinary Docket No. 3 (Penn. Sept. 7, 2006); Bd. Ex. 3. In Pennsylvania, a lawyer who is suspended for less than one year will automatically be reinstated if the lawyer files a “verified statement showing compliance with all the terms and conditions of the order of suspension.” Pa. R. Disciplinary Enforcement 218(g)(1). Although Pa. R. Disciplinary Enforcement 218(g)(2)(i) and (ii) both appear to preclude the application of this summary process to Jonas, it appears that Jonas used the Rule 218(g)(1) process and was reinstated to inactive status—from which he may seek reinstatement to active status—in Pennsylvania in 2014. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Jonas, No. 1158 Disciplinary Docket No. 3, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 3456 (Pa. Dec. 24, 2014). Thus, Pennsylvania allowed Jonas to ameliorate his suspension without any inquiry into his “moral qualifications, competency and learning in the law . . . and that resumption of the practice of law . . . by such person will be neither detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice nor subversive of the public interest” that is otherwise required to resume practice after a suspension. Pa. R. Disciplinary Enforcement 218(a)(1), (c)(3); Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Jonas, No. 1158 Disciplinary Docket No. 3, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 3456 (Pa. Dec. 24, 2014).


    3. Florida

      In 2007, Mr. Jonas was reciprocally suspended from the Florida bar for committing conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal for a period of one year and ordered to pay costs of $2103.37. Fla. Bar v. Jonas, 979 So. 2d 220 (Fla. 2007); Fla. Bar v. Jonas, No. SC06-695, Report of Referee (Fla. Jan. 23, 2007); Bd. Ex. 4. His request for a rehearing, clarification, and a written opinion was denied. Fla. Bar v. Jonas, No. SC06-695, 2008 Fla. LEXIS 432 (Fla. 2008); Bd. Ex. 5.

    4. Maine

      Jonas was admitted to the practice of law in Maine in 1987. Bd. Ex. 30. His license to practice here was administratively suspended in 1995 as a result of his failure to complete his annual registration.7 See M. Bar R. 6(b)(1). Bd. Ex. 30.

      Through a 2011 letter to the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board), Jonas indicated his intent to seek reinstatement to the Maine bar. Pl. Ex. 1. In that letter, Jonas continued to advance his contentions that his divorce proceedings were the result of “criminal misappropriation of trust funds,” and that his disciplinary proceedings in New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania were the result of “collu[sion] to retaliate” by Linda and Gold. Pl. Ex. 1. He also denigrated the disciplinary proceedings undertaken in Florida, stating that the Florida special master “did not have any interest in knowing why New Jersey suspended me.” Pl. Ex. 1. Finally, Jonas wrote, “The story is fit for a novel, but I assure you I have the records and have briefed it to the appropriate courts in the hope that the New Jersey court will vindicate my reputation and clear the record.” Pl. Ex. 1.

      On September 20, 2013, Jonas formally sought reinstatement by submitting to this Court and to the Board a petition, $2539 in past due registration fees, an annual registration statement, an annual IOLTA report, a 2012 CLE report, an affidavit of his compliance with M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5), and a completed reinstatement questionnaire.8 Jonas v. Jonas, FM-04-259-89 (N.J. Super. Ct. Chancery Div. May 4, 2006); see M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(4). Bd. Ex. 29, 30, 31; Pl. Ex. 5, 6, 7. Bar counsel opposed Jonas’s petition. See M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5). The Grievance Commission of the Board conducted a testimonial hearing on Jonas’s petition on March 4, 2014, in which Jonas appeared on his own behalf. See M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5). Bd. Ex. 36. On March 21, 2014, the Commission recommended Jonas’s conditional reinstatement to the Maine bar contingent on his payment of all outstanding amounts owed to the bar disciplinary boards of New Jersey and Florida, and his submission of a full financial disclosure. See M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(6).

      After Bar Counsel objected to the Commission’s recommendation, the Board formed a special panel to review de novo the evidence presented before the Commission. Based on the special panel’s review of the record, by decision dated September 24, 2014, the Board recommended the denial of Jonas’s petition for reinstatement.

      The matter was then referred to the Supreme Judicial Court, and was assigned to me, sitting as a single justice. I issued an initial order dated November 5, 2014, asking the parties to submit briefs regarding the authority of the Board to establish a special panel, the effect of such a special panel’s decision, and whether all of the factors set out in M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5) apply to what is in Maine only an administrative suspension. Based upon the parties’ responsive submissions, and after a hearing on January 16, 2015, I issued an order dated January 22, 2015, noting that Jonas had failed to object to the special panel procedure undertaken by the Board, and concluding that the Board had the authority to invoke the special panel procedure pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(6) and Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar Regulation 50. I also concluded that, although Jonas’s suspension in Maine was an administrative suspension, his petition for reinstatement is nonetheless subject to each of the requirements in M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5). Given that two entities—the Grievance Commission and the Board’s special panel—arrived at different conclusions based on reviews of the same evidentiary record, I conducted an entirely new testimonial hearing in the matter pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(6) (“The Court shall, with or without hearing, grant or deny the petition for reinstatement by written order . . . .”).

    II. DISCUSSION

    Pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5), it is Jonas’s burden, as the petitioning party, to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, the necessary requirements for reinstatement:

    [T]he petitioner . . . shall have the burden of presenting clear and convincing evidence demonstrating the moral qualifications, competency, and learning in law required for admission to practice law in this State. The petitioner shall also offer clear and convincing evidence that it is likely that reinstatement will not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar, the administration of justice, or to the public interest.

    Rule 7.3(j)(5) then lists a series of “[f]actors to be considered as to the petitioner’s meeting that burden,” namely, that

    1. The petitioner has fully complied with the terms of all prior disciplinary orders;
    2. The petitioner has neither engaged nor attempted to engage in the unauthorized practice of law;
    3. The petitioner recognizes the wrongfulness and seriousness of the misconduct;
    4. The petitioner has not engaged in any other professional misconduct since resignation, suspension or disbarment;
    5. The petitioner has the requisite honesty and integrity to practice law;
    6. The petitioner has met the continuing legal education requirements of Rule 12(a)(1) for each year the attorney has been . . . prohibited from the practice of law in Maine . . . .
    M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5).

    Although these six factors are indications of whether reinstatement would be “detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar, the administration of justice, or to the public interest,” M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5), they are by no means an exhaustive list of considerations relevant to that larger inquiry. I begin by noting that the record recited above is replete with evidence establishing that, by clear and convincing evidence, Jonas’s reinstatement to the bar of Maine would be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar, the administration of justice, and to the public interest. For over twenty-five years, Jonas has taken exhaustive steps to avoid fulfilling his divorce obligations, has attempted to undermine the judicial system of every jurisdiction in which he litigated, and has refused accountability for the course of the very disputes he continues to press as recently as a few weeks ago. I conclude that Jonas has failed to meet his burden as to factors C and E in particular—I am convinced that that he does not appreciate the wrongfulness and seriousness of his misconduct and I am convinced that he does not have the requisite honesty and integrity to practice law.9


    When he testified, Jonas acknowledged that he had “violated some court orders,” and admitted that he had been wrong in doing so. He contended, however, that his actions in taking the children to the Cayman Islands was not premeditated, and that his decision to attempt to liquidate his holdings and flee the jurisdiction of the New Jersey courts was caused by his own temporary depression and anxiety. These, in turn, he explained, had been caused by the unrelenting litigational assaults by Linda; a series of tragedies suffered by clients; and his belief that Linda, her attorney, and Judge Page were involved in a conspiracy against him. Jonas’s purported acceptance of responsibility and explanations would have been more credible if he had not continued to make the same sorts of choices and take the same sorts of actions during the unrelenting, unremitting barrage of litigation he mounted whenever Linda attempted to enforce the valid court orders. In short, Jonas has not established—even by a preponderance of evidence—that he recognizes the wrongfulness of the actions that resulted in his New Jersey suspension.

    The historical facts reproduced here represent just a small and simplified sampling of the most significant moments in Jonas’s litigation history; that history displays a complexity that anyone would be loathe to describe in full. In total, dozens of jurists in the trial, intermediate appellate, and appellate courts of five states and eight federal jurisdictions for more than two decades have considered and rejected Jonas’s arguments regarding his divorce. In these proceedings, several themes repeat themselves over and over and over again:

  • Jonas’s defiance of and refusal to accept well-established case law. Among those instances is his repeated contention—which he advanced before this Court as well—that the New Jersey judgments are not final judgments. Because his challenges to those judgments and his repeated requests for a trust accounting were dismissed without prejudice (for having absconded from the jurisdiction), and because he may seek redress of those issues if he returns to the New Jersey courts according to those courts’ instructions, Jonas contends those judgments are unenforceable. Tellingly, he has not been able to persuade any court of this argument. See, e.g., Jonas v. Gold, No. 13-2949 (D. N.J. Sept. 30, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014); Jonas v. Gold, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65486 (D. N.J. May 13, 2014); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388, 2011 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 104 (Dist. Ct. July 14, 2011); In re Jonas, No. 10-60248-7, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2722 (D. Mont. Aug. 12, 2010). Other examples include Jonas’s argument that he may represent BMR on a pro se basis, that the fugitive disentitlement doctrine does not apply to him, and that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction to disturb the New Jersey judgments. Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013); contra United States v. Hagerman, 545 F.3d 579, 581 (7th Cir. 2008); Lattanzio v. COMTA, 481 F.3d 137, 139-40 (2d Cir. 2007); see Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 196 (1993).
  • Jonas’s refusal to accept that the only jurisdiction that can allow him to obtain an accounting of the trust imposed by the New Jersey courts in 2006 is New Jersey, the one jurisdiction in which Jonas is seemingly unwilling to litigate.
  • When decisions are not issued in Jonas’s favor, Jonas will not accept that his arguments are not persuasive. Instead, he claims that the rulings are due to incompetent and/or unethical jurists; incompetent attorneys, including attorneys he has retained; and a continuing “fraud” on every jurisdiction where he has litigated.
  • The filing of repetitive motions and appeals, not just in the fact of their filing, but in the very substance asserted and relief sought. In doing so, Jonas has wasted untold hours of his, Linda’s, various attorneys’, and numerous courts’ time, and has made a mockery of the concept of judicial economy.
  • Jonas’s pervasive and seemingly compulsive violation of court orders—and not just by his failure to pay the money judgments issued against him (the unpaid total of which must be, by this point, astronomical), but in all of his other proceedings as well. Jonas misses court deadlines, fails to file required documents, files documents for which there is no authority to do so, and fails to attend hearings.
  • That Jonas has, from time to time, found lawyers to make his arguments for him does not insulate his actions. Whether with or without counsel, he has demonstrated a level of contempt for courts and their authority that is breathtaking. In sum, Jonas’s litigation history, though all relating to his personal affairs, reflects a pattern of conduct that could not possibly meet any definition of integrity. Indeed, a small sampling of the terms that have been used to describe Jonas and his filings and actions in court include the following: vexatious, defiant, subversive, disruptive, guerilla warfare, wasteful, single minded, adamant, obstinate, dogged, retaliatory, duplicative, abusive, especially egregious, unnecessary, unrelenting, specious, deliberate, frivolous, bad faith, improper, ill-advised, retributive, ongoing, expensive, impertinent, delaying, invalid, needless, unsupported, and contemptuous. Jonas has mischaracterized, misrepresented, refused to appear, failed to obey, feigned ignorance, manipulated, and harassed his way through the last twenty-five years, and in every such incident, he has ignored his own conduct, failed to acknowledge any wrongdoing, and expressed no remorse or contrition. In a representative discussion of Jonas’s litigation efforts, the Montana Supreme Court noted,

    Jonas has engaged in a course of drawn-out, vexatious litigation in New Jersey, Florida, and Montana. This, his third appeal in Montana, is just the latest round in a divorce battle stretching back over 20 years. . . . The District Court previously warned [Jonas] that further delay or multiplication of this litigation without good cause would result in the imposition of sanctions. [Jonas’s] latest, third, appeal appears to have been largely pursued to further delay Linda’s efforts to enforce the New Jersey judgment. We accordingly conclude that [Jonas’s] appeal is vexatious and was filed for the purposes of delay.

    Jonas v. Jonas, 308 P.3d 33, 37 (Mont. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1036 (2014).

    Jonas has argued that his personal life—and in particular, his divorce proceedings—should not be dispositive as to his ethical obligations as an attorney, and points out that he has never been the subject of any disciplinary action based on his representation of any party other than himself and BMR. That notion is contradicted by legal ethics decisions throughout the United States in which attorneys have been disciplined, refused admission to the bar, or denied reinstatement to the bar based only on their own personal misconduct.10 See, e.g., Fla. Bd. of Bar Exam’rs re M.A.R., 755 So. 2d 89, 91-93 (Fla. 2000) (denying an attorney admission to the bar based on that attorney’s failure to pay child support, history of writing worthless checks, and financial irresponsibility); Grigsby v. Ky. Bar Ass’n, 181 S.W.3d 40, 43 (Ky. 2006) (suspending at attorney for committing criminal drug offenses); In re Application for Discipline of Peters, 428 N.W.2d 375, 376-82 (Minn. 1988) (sanctioning at attorney by issuing a public reprimand for sexually harassing his employees); In re Duncan, 844 S.W.2d 443, 444-45 (Mo. 1992) (suspending at attorney for his willful failure to pay federal taxes); Disciplinary Counsel v. Character, 950 N.E.2d 177, 191-92 (Ohio 2011) (holding that an attorney’s actions in his personal life are within the disciplinary board’s scrutiny, as when, for example, “a lawyer . . . commits fraud in the conduct of a business [he] is subject to discipline for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation”).


    Indeed, “[a]ny act by an attorney that brings the profession or the authority of the courts and administration of the law into disrespect or disregard, such as dishonesty, personal misconduct, questionable moral character, or unprofessional conduct is potential grounds for [exclusion from the bar].” Grigsby, 181 S.W.3d at 42. “[T]he public is entitled to rely on an attorney’s admission to the practice of law as a certification of the attorney’s honesty, high ethical standards, and good moral character.” Id. at 42-43. Thus, it is highly relevant to a reinstatement petition whether Jonas is a vexatious litigant, which he is; whether Jonas fully acknowledges his role in his past misdeeds, which he does not; whether Jonas continues to assert the same arguments that have led to his professional downfall, which he does; whether Jonas understands the toll his actions have taken on countless others, including the many courts he has run in circles, which he does not; and whether Jonas is likely to repeat the same conduct in the future, which he is.

    Even while it is clear that Jonas is to blame for the course of his legal woes, he has instead elected to view his years of litigation as an indication of the problems with the justice system rather than himself. When an attorney is admitted to the Maine bar, he swears that he “will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless or unlawful suit nor give aid or consent to the same” and that he “will delay no man for lucre or malice.” 4 M.R.S. § 806 (2014). Jonas has demonstrated just the opposite. When a person has demonstrated as little respect for the justice system as Jonas has over the last twenty-five years, I cannot conclude that “it is likely that reinstatement will not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar, the administration of justice, or to the public interest.” M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5).

    Edwin Jonas’s petition for reinstatement to the Maine bar is hereby DENIED.

    Dated: June 22, 2015


    Ellen A. Gorman
    Associate Justice
    Maine Supreme Judicial Court


    1 There are far too many Jonas litigations to allow for short citation forms. Thus, prior decisions from all jurisdictions are cited in full with each reference.

    2 By then, one of the children was no longer a minor. In re Jonas, No. ORB 05-170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005).

    3 Since 1995, Jonas has never voluntarily made a spousal support payment.

    4"Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a district court is precluded from entertaining an action, that is, the federal court Jacks subject matter jurisdiction, if the relief requested effectively would reverse a state court decision or void its ruling." Jonas v. Gold, 2014 WL 4854484 (D. N.J. Sept. 30, 2014); see Jonas v. Gold, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65486 (D. N.J. May 13, 2014).

    5 The U.S. District Court concluded that Jonas was precluded from representing BMR, an LLC, on a pro se basis. See Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013); Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42541 (D. Mont. Mar. 25, 2013); Jonas v. Jonas, No. DV-09-388 (Mont. 20th Jud. Dist. Ct. July 3, 2014). That Court also concluded that Jonas could not represent BMR as an attorney because he was not admitted to the bar of that court and did not seek admission on a pro hac vice basis. Jonas v. Waterman, No. CV 13-16-M-DLC-JCL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82896 (D. Mont. June 12, 2013).

    6 By that time, Jonas's reinstatement proceedings before the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar were pending. Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014). Based on the Grievance Commission's recommendation that Jonas be reinstated to the Maine bar, and in response to the Commission's statement that "[a]ccording to [Jonas's] testimony, most of the difficulties and wasted efforts in the Montana litigation were the fault of his local attorney," see supra at Part l(G)(4), the U.S. District Court advised that Jonas's "testimony [was] an incomplete report of the litigation before this Court, as it either fail[ed] to mention or grossly mischaracterize[d] this action and the Court's decision." Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014). Commenting on the Commission's finding that "Ed Jonas' litigation in every jurisdiction has had at least a plausible explanation and a legitimate objective," the U.S. District Court stated, "Jonas'[s) pursuit of this action flatly contradicts that finding." Jonas v. Jonas, No. CV 13-90-M-DWM-JCL, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109268 (D. Mont. Aug. 7, 2014).

    7 Maine did not initiate any procedures to impose reciprocal discipline as a result of the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Florida suspensions, as would have been permitted by M. Bar R. 7.3(h).

    8"An attorney who has been suspended for non-disciplinary reasons under Rules 6 or I 0 of the Maine Bar Rules may petition to the Court for reinstatement" and the Court "may enter any appropriate order or orders in connection with such application." M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(4).

    9 Jonas also has failed to prove that he has complied with all prior disciplinary orders pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(5)(a), namely, by reimbursing the New Jersey disciplinary oversight committee for its administrative and actual expenses incurred in prosecuting the New Jersey bar discipline matter against him. See In re Jonas, No. DRB 05-170 (N.J. Disciplinary Review Bd. Sept. 2, 2005), aff'd, 889 A.2d 1055 (N.J. 2006).

    10 It has also been many years since Jonas has represented any clients.