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Jon Gosselin's Lawyer -- S.O.L.

10/9/2009 6:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned Jon Gosselin's lawyer may be aced out of the Jon and Kate case because the person who vouched for him in Pennsylvania has withdrawn his support.

We've learned Pennsylvania lawyer Michael Marino sponsored Mark Heller -- Jon's lawyer -- to practice one time only in Pennsylvania court. Heller is licensed to practice in New York, though he had been suspended for 5 years for a variety of misdeeds.

Under Penn law, an out of state lawyer seeking to practice in a Pennsylvania court must obtain a sponsor who is licensed to practice in the state. Marino signed up as his sponsor, but yesterday, he wrote the court a letter in which he said, "My motion ... is hereby withdrawn."

It's interesting Marino sent the letter after revelations of Heller's legal misdeeds in NY.


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Maggie- Thank you so much!

Apparently the Conduct rules have very specific requirements!
231 rule 1012.1 says

"2) The sponsor shall submit a verified statement

(i) stating that after reasonable investigation, he or she reasonably believes the candidate to be a reputable and competent attorney and is in a position to recommend the candidate’s admission."

The rules go on to say the Court can deny an outside attorney permission if there is good cause - including

"Good cause may include one or more of the following grounds:

(1) the admission may be detrimental to the prompt, fair and efficient administration of justice,

(2) the admission may be detrimental to legitimate interests of the parties to the proceedings other than the client whom the candidate proposes to represent,

(3) the client who the candidate proposes to represent may be at risk of receiving inadequate representation and cannot adequately appreciate that risk,"

Gee, I can see where all three of these apply!

And there is also this -
"(5) the candidate is, in effect, practicing as a Pennsylvania attorney, in light of the nature and extent of the activities of the candidate in the Commonwealth, without complying with the Pennsylvania requirements for the admission to the bar. The court may weigh the number of other admissions to practice sought and/or obtained by the candidate from Pennsylvania courts, the question of whether or not the candidate maintains an office in Pennsylvania although the candidate is not admitted to practice in Pennsylvania courts, and other relevant factors,"

Made a new question bubble to the surface... When Jon and Mr Heller appeared on Larry King Live and I think the Insider - before Kate's attorney filed with courts the emergency petition, Mr. Heller was introduced as Jon's attorney, sat right beside him, didn't he? And the host fired questions about the DIVORCE, right? And Mr. Heller never said he was not Jon's Divorce attorney, he answered the questions, right? He even sent something to The Insider in writing if memory serves me in reply to Mr. Singer's letter. So when was Mr. Heller approved by PA court to act as Jon's Divorce attorney? If he was not yet approved when he appeared on national TV programs, or sending a letter to the Insider in response to Mr. Singer's letter, wouldn't that mean he was practicing as a PA attorney without complying ...

I thought Mr Heller asked the courts for permission to represent Jon at the moment Kate filed that emergency petition or am I wrong?

If that is the case, wouldn't #5 also possibly apply?

Just wondering.

1816 days ago


V-You're welcome. I claim no expertise in domestic relations, entertainment law,or any potential financial fallout in this case. As for attorney disciplinary records, I googled it and, based on a quick look, NY State does seem a little unusual and complex in how it divides its judicial department into districts. It looks like it takes some determination to get such information. I don't know what if anything they keep confidential. Pennsylvania is very straightforward. You just have to go to There are several ways to search. It helps to have the attorney's attorney registration number which you'll generally find on legal pleadings, etc. in order to make sure you have the correct attorney (they're not like actors; there can be more than one attorney with the same name). You won't get a huge amount of detail but you will be told if there has been any discipline and whether the attorney currently is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania.

I can't explain why Mr. Marino didn't search more. With the internet (not just general public websites but more specialized professional ones that charge fees like LEXIS and Westlaw), it's much less work than it used to be to find at least something about any major issues, particularly disciplinary ones, regarding a very high profile attorney who has been associated with celebrity litigation. It's like sports; you scout your opponent before you go on the field with them. The only possibility that makes sense is that Mr. Marino trusted whoever asked him to sponsor Mr. Heller and that person betrayed his trust. To be fair to Mr. Marino, he did do the correct thing by withdrawing if he could no longer vouch for Mr. Heller in good conscience.

It's not unusual in high profile cases for local counsel to be retained as part of the team, not just because of the admission issues but in order to know the local rules and customs, etc.

1816 days ago


Saltbreeze (# 97)-You're welcome. Please see my response to V. Probably the best place to look for answers to your questions is the disciplinary board website, I don't believe they will comment on any ongoing cases in the public eye but it will give you some idea of the standards in Pennsylvania.

1816 days ago


I think this is so funny. Jon's first Lawyer quits him, then His second lawyer gets fired and here's Jon taking all that money out of the bank to give Mr Heller a retainer and guess what Jon's lost the money. Why do I say that because One of the reasons Mr Heller was repremended is because he never gives back retainers. He always finds reasons not too. So he got on TV to help get his career going after a five year suspension, a vacation, luxury hotel accomadations and a dinner at The Ivy all on the dipstick. It's called what goes around comes around. Now if the arbitrater orders him to put the money back He's up deep cow manure. Another thing Jon didn't quit his last two jobs at the IT Companies he was FIRED and then TLC fires him. Evidently he's not as smart as he thinks he is . Well I hope Dr & Mrs Glassman are ready to support their pot-head daughter and the sleaze bag

1815 days ago


Hey did anybody see when Jon picked up the twins at their bus stop Thursday the first time thing Mady said to him was "I hate that outfit," which says, to me, Dad you're an embarrassment to us. Then he picks up the multiplies and one of them says to him "Dad is Mommy at the house". It almost says they don't want to be at the house with him alone. One of the boys on the show when Kate was cooking chicken on the grill said " we only have fun when Mommy's home." Jon you better wake up before it's too late.

1815 days ago


Jon has taken a trip for two to France, has bought 3 cars and taken countless trips since June. Kate has taken working trips and he wants her to give him money? Get a JOB Jon!!

1815 days ago


I don't have any respect for this lawyer. He agreed to sponsor someone he knew nothing about? I don't believe him. I'm sure Heller can find a string of willing attorneys to opt in, then out, so that he can drag out the case out as long as possible, a typical legal tactic that he's already advised Gosselin to pursue.

1814 days ago


I used to dislike Kate, she was so cold and domineering. The prize for WORTHLESS LOSER goes to Jon, however! He's a total clusterf*ck. No wonder she had to wear the pants. I can't stand watching him (or her) anymore! Those poor kids will be in need of expensive therapy. The show must end now.

1814 days ago
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