Lewis Family Farm, Inc. vs. APA

November 17, 2010, Judge Richard B. Meyer stunned APA and the AG's office of Andrew Mark Cuomo with an award of counsel fees.

Also stunned are the half-baked charities that support APA's malicious and devious practices. It's a cabal of 501(c)(3) operations extending to two NPR affiliates.

Anonymous donors support, then come to buy from the crushed.

Judge Meyer's decisions have established a standard and changed the rules in The North Country. Lawyers and our quisling judges can now see the light.

No elective office will be sought absent questions from voters regarding this decision and our case. APA will be questioned as never before.

In 40 years of deliberate behavior designed to crush those born in the park, APA has systematically decimated whole families, villages, industries, and endeavors.

APA has had help. Those interested in the lands of others have motivated APA. These people come wrapped in the cloak of environmentalism - and donate to their proxy charities.

Those charities sponsor APA action shamelessly.

Politicians rewarded with support downstate have rolled on our neighbors with indifference and duplicity.

We now have the blueprint.

Judge Meyer has established new law and fresh expectations.

Read his decision with care.

The latest: Farm counsel sues farm for $298,141.56 in fees, after Court awards $71,690.28.

Interesting NY Times article 3/25/13 on this practice

In our case, learned counsel, John J. Privitera, Esq. of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams P.C. has filed a $400,000 lien against the farm which might come in handy in case we die before this matter comes to conclusion.

A ham sandwich placed by George Pataki granted summary judgement.

Over the 5-year course of our APA litigation, the farm paid its counsel, John J. Privitera, Esq. of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams P.C., only four times for a total of $86,693.20.

First, the farm paid what was billed, $11,693.20. Second, third and fourth, the farm sent a message in $25,000 installments, balance carried forward. We object. We said, we will look at the end. Not before.

The picture was clear. The farm confronted directly. Paying the same on account, each time, saying “We will pay at the end of this mess, not another dime until the case is closed. Work to end it.”

With this message came another – a direct and well written statement from the top jurist in New York State. Purposefully, the farm posted an August 27, 2007 article by Adam Liptak of the New York Times, citing writings of Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Professor Benjamin H. Barton, Esq., University of Tennessee College of Law, describing lawyers and judges, behavior benefiting counsel at the expense of the client. Instructing counsel to read Adam Liptak and the embedded writings, Sandy Lewis said: “These are aimed at you. These are about you.” Counsel Jacob Lamme Esq., said he understood. John J. Privitera Esq., did not respond.

Strangely, we were blessed and harmed, simultaneously  as the Court  saw it and opined: “The billing records here ‘do not permit intelligent review of the necessity or reasonableness of the time expenditures recorded therein’,” awarding 31% of that demanded by our counsel. As that decision was handed down, counsel determined to appeal, yet again.

With close study by farm internal counsel, we learned our counsel had lied to Judge Meyer. Counsel had arranged the facts and numbers to mislead. He lied to his client: payment of his bills, he wrote, was a pre-condition for the farm’s application for fees, an assertion without apparent legal authority. And he indicated, in filing for fees for the farm, he was seeking payment for himself. To wit, when he sought to appeal Judge Meyer’s award, I said, finally, “You are on your own, John.”

To the court, as described in our briefs, Mr. Privitera swore that the $226,087 requested of Judge Meyer, plus an un-itemized, unrecoverable amount of $78,522.63, represented his firm’s total billings to the Lewis Family Farm in the APA matter. In fact, the total number was already $379,400, and rising. Our final bill was $384,834, now sought with 9% interest.

Mr. Privitera withheld where he felt he would not be awarded, such as reading the newspaper, and in one instance, rearranging dates to include inadmissible billings in his demand for fee reimbursement.

We note, in the feeding frenzy, the invoice excerpted in the link above showing time for reading the newspaper, shows entries relating to “petroleum tankage” and “concentrated animal feeding operation permit” - items  unrelated but slipped in without notice. We wonder, among many others, if time devoted to counsel’s desire to move to Washington, departing his slow Albany practice, his request of me for help with the Obama administration, was mislabeled… or simply ignored. The client in this relationship would not know, at this point.

In short, our lawyer lied to the court, and to us.

Last, our lawyer said our judge hated him. We would not know. He labeled Judge Meyer’s opinion “abusive.” In another case before Judge Meyer, involving a boathouse in Lake Placid [Town of North Elba et al v. Grimditch, Index No 770-10], Mr. Privitera asked Sandy Lewis to come to court and sit with him, to aid in his effort to intervene with his presence. He put this request while the APA case was hot, believing Judge Meyer hates him – believing the judge respects Sandy Lewis. This is exactly what he said.

I.e., our lawyer asked his first client to show up in court for cosmetic enhancement to support his efforts with a second client.

We approached counsel Joseph Brennan, Esq., and the Essex County Clerk to ask, simply, if this behavior was ethical, did this warrant referral to the ethics panel in Albany? Neither felt that was a good idea.

We state our conclusion: We agree with Judge Meyer. He saw it from the bench, we saw it from the farm. Joe Brennan Esq., has confirmed Judge Meyer: John J. Privitera Esq., simply raped us.  We had asked Mr. Privitera to copy Mr. Brennan on all aspects – as our primary counsel. We have learned this never happened.

Citing U. S. Supreme Court reporter, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Judge Dennis Jacobs, and Professor Benjamin Barton, sending the signal with three identical payments and conversations on point, we made it clear: we were unhappy, there would be no payment until the case was closed, asking that the “protracted” duplicative motion practice end. We had had enough, and counsel got it.

When the time came, as our lead lawyer sought to file still more papers, we took matters in hand. With help from Senator Elizabeth O’Connor Little and Executive Chambers in Albany, we sought to end the three-ring circus. We negotiated, then directed, settlement with government, at the number awarded by Judge Richard B. Meyer. Counsel, confessing conflict of interest, then secretly collaborated with government in their combined wish, and attempted to obliterate the court record and spare himself and them the shame of the Court’s condemnation. [See SBL Affidavit paragraph 21.]

Litigation with APA invariably involves a kind of complicity with counsel, a web of back-channeling with government and abuse of practice. Countless examples exist. This is common knowledge in The North Country.

We take exception to the notion that APA cannot obtain environmental justice without suborning counsel.

When counsel turns on client, justice cannot work. When court aids counsel, it seals the deal.

Ours wrote, in effect, you are rich, you can pay: “I have never had a client of means demand a reduction in my bill.” He had certainly understood our wish to negotiate.

This is about facts and deserves a trial. We have two matters before Judge Richard M. Platkin. The first is venue, the second is equity. We seek Essex County, where the matter was heard and where the court has ruled on the second: fairness in billings, or equity.

It’s not complicated. The courts must work for the people, not the lawyers that supposedly serve the people

In-house counsel is available to the press, as are farm owners, for the record, on background, and off the record, any time.

APA’s Administrative Action Against LFF
Case E2007-041
June 26 2007 - April 18 2008
APA stumbles, asks for eternal jurisdiction, then reverses, fines farm $50,000; Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board speaks.E2007-041.html
LFF Article 78 Proceeding Seeking judicial review of  APA March 13 2008 Enforcement Determination  See E2007-041 above
Case 315-08
April 7 2008 - August 8 2008
In which The Courts indicate understanding of our case, New York Farm Bureau speaks. 315-08.html
Attorney General Duplicative Enforcement Action Seeking to Enforce APA March 13 Enforcement Determination
Case 332-08
April 11 2008 - August 18 2008
Duplicative case filed by government to judge-shop, attack us individually. We are relieved, cases are consolidated, $200.00 awarded by Hon. Richard B. Meyer332-08.html
Early Documents
Barbara A. Lewis to Governor Spitzer, Department of Agriculture & Markets speaks, president of NY Farm Bureau writes his governor.Early_Documents.html
Town of Essex Moratorium on large farm development, a drug treatment center at The County Home, expansion of LCTC Ferry Dock.1998-1999.html
LFF Declaratory Judgement Action Against the APA
Case 498-07
June 26 2007 - September 3 2008
Dismissed as premature - not right for judicial intervention. In which we may extend to September 22 our need to appeal Hon. Kevin K. Ryan.498-07.html
The New York Times published first, the Press Republican has published often.  AP has published once. A local NPR affiliate proved itself inadequate and will, no doubt, do so again - see Brian Mann strikes again...Press_Archives/Press_Archives.html

Please Visit




to learn more about us and the farming operations here.

For free DVD of APA Enforcement Committee Meeting, March 13th 2008;  also available, ADIRONDACKS, 2-hour PBS Special.

Please call (973) 379-4446

or email sblewis@mac.com

with your request.

Cases Explained
To give context and understanding to the four legal cases laid out here.Cases_Explained.html
Town Road Case
Case 47-07  - Town of Essex litigates in county court, loses twice.  Town pollutes Cross Road ditch to compromise farm drainage, impair adjacent farm road, enable snow plow damage to same.  Rock road designed by NYSEG carries electric power, photographic evidence here.  Town threatens prosecution in unrelated matter with counsel Harp, resolved in one hour meeting on site among the parties.47-07.html
The Appeal
Cases 504626, 504696
Appellate Division, Third Judicial DepartmentThe_Appeal.html
Other APA Cases
Will show the method, danger, personal hardship caused by APA and charitable advocacy groups working against the indigenous.Other_APA_Cases.html
The $50,000 Caper
November 20 2008 - December 4 2008
AAG doesn’t walk softly and has no stick.50K_Caper.html
The Decisions
Hon. Richard B. Meyer annuls and finds in favor of the Lewis Family Farm.The_Decision.html
“Top 10” DocumentsTop_Docs.html

The Court’s question:


The Farmer vs. Goliath

The Post-Star of Glens Falls by Will Doolittle, Projects Editor

Front-page — 4-year APA case, Sandy Lewis, Lewis Family Farm, Hon. Richard B. Meyer.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Sept 12, 13, 14, 15, 2010

Offered now as first-come, first-served, 100 newspapers for each day in packets of 4, priority to the interviewed, farm staff & clients, libraries, may be picked up at the farm or mailed.

Thank you.

Lewis Family Farm, Inc.,

Sandy and Barbara Lewis

(518) 963 4206, farm house

APA meeting on slaughterhouses in the Park (video, 80mb)Welcome_files/APA%20%26%20Ag.movWelcome_files/APA%20%26%20Ag.movWelcome_files/APA%20%26%20Ag.movshapeimage_23_link_0shapeimage_23_link_1shapeimage_23_link_2
“A Lonely Redemption”
In Sunday's Metropolitan Section of The New York Times, in a full front page article circulating to 2,000,000 in the United States
finally, after 26 years, tell the story of Sandy Lewis’s challenge to Wall Street’s corruption. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/nyregion/the-lonely-redemption-of-sandy-lewis-wall-street-provocateur.html?_r=1&pagewanted=allhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/nyregion/the-lonely-redemption-of-sandy-lewis-wall-street-provocateur.html?_r=1&pagewanted=allhttp://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/p/michael_powell/index.htmlhttp://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/danny_hakim/index.htmlPress_Archives/Entries/2012/9/15_Old_rivals_cooperate_on_Adirondack_farm_needs_2.htmlshapeimage_24_link_0shapeimage_24_link_1shapeimage_24_link_2shapeimage_24_link_3
McNamee sues farm for fees after Judge Meyer’s award.
April, 2012Epilogue.html
Motion for Fees
Chapter 1: The Q of “IF?”
Chapter 2: The Q of “How much?” August, 2009Motion_for_Fees.html


The law was clear, the case was simple: the APA had no jurisdiction over a farm's right to house its workers. Judge Richard B. Meyer made it clear and said it was simple.

The enterprising reader might start with Cases Explained, or Top Documents.

To read the final orders and critical comment detailing the pattern of abuse that has gone unchallenged by those without the means, see 'Decision.' 

We aim for disclosure. The reader will judge us all.

Photo: 2012, Fred R. Conrad/The New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/nyregion/the-lonely-redemption-of-sandy-lewis-wall-street-provocateur.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Tax Litigation
We’re looking for help on our farm! Read this article from the Valley News!Press_Archives/Entries/2014/5/13_Essex_cattle_farm_offers_job_hopefuls_Grade-A_status_if_they_survive_the_chopping_block.html