Adoption, Law & Ethics, News & Media

Newspaper articles about Michelle’s 1976 adoption

If you would like to read some of the newspaper articles regarding the case against the attorney that illegally arranged the adoption, you can view them HERE. In some of the articles, Michelle is the adopted child referred to simply as the December 4, 1976 “incident.”

Many of these articles include statements taken from Kent’s court testimony that contradict Hollie’s experiences, including his heavy involvement after Michelle’s birth. They also contradict information given to Michelle in 2017 by her adoptive father. We will make a separate post about these inconsistencies at a later date.

So far, our research has produced about 12 articles from a variety of newspapers including the Courier-Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times. We will add a few new articles to this page at a later date.

VIEW ALL OF THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES HERE

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© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess/ Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics, News & Media

‘Adoption lawyer’s’ term suspended (1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: October 17, 1981

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By RENEE WINKLER
Of the Courier-Post

CAMDEN – A Willingboro attorney, convicted in July of illegally acting as an intermediary in three adoptions, yesterday was given a suspended jail term and placed on probation for one year.

Before Edward Kent, 55, was given the sentence he made an emotional speech, criticizing the law that makes it illegal for persons to help in the placement of unwanted children.

Kent, who lives in Edgewater Park, praised Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, who presented the state’s case against him, and Superior Court Judge Peter J. Corruzzi, who convicted him after a non-jury trial, commenting that both were complying with the law.

The state law requires all private adoptions to be supervised by the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

Kent had contacted clergymen in several Burlington County municipalities after unmarried pregnant women came to him looking for adoptive parents for their children.

Kent, who specializes in matrimonial and family law, is an opponent of abortion.

He objected to a statement by a Camden County probation officer who commented that he had helped in the adoptions because of a profit motive. No allegations were made that Kent charged excessive fees for the adoptions and his defense lawyer, Carl D. Poplar of Haddonfield, argued that he had given hundreds of hours of unpaid work to help in adoptions.

Kent, who began to sob before sentence was announced, said that his average fee for an adoption was $500. “I charge $1,000 or more for a divorce, an act of destruction, compared to this, an act of construction, of building a family,” he said.

With tears in his eyes, he said that “the years over 50 won’t be golden for me. Now I’m a convict. I’m going to pay for the rest of my life because the system wasn’t fair.”

“If I ever thought that calling up a priest or a rabbi would have gotten me into a prisoner’s dock, I would have been better off going into the garment district,” he said.

Corruzzi, who suspended a six-month term in the Camden County Jail for Kent, said he would not comment at length “because I’m afraid I might agree with some of the things you said. But the statute exists prohibiting assistance in the placement of children for adoption.”

Kent still faces disciplinary action by the Ethics Committee of the state Supreme Court. That action could be suspension of his license to practice law or disbarment.  

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article

 

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer accused in 3 adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By Francis M. Lordan
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Burlington County lawyer has been indicted on charges that in 1977 he illegally assisted in the adoption of three children in Camden County, Thomas J. Shusted, Camden County prosecutor, said yesterday.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, was named in the eight-count indictment issued Thursday by the grand jury. No hearing date has been scheduled.

The parents and the children who were adopted were identified in the indictment only by their initials.

The indictment also charged Kent with obstructing justice by asking several of the parents not to tell of his involvement and asking another person to mislead investigators, indicating that she would “receive money if she was to mislead the investigators.” It also charged that he gave false information to a former county prosecutor.

If convicted on the eight counts, all of which are misdemeanors, Kent could face a maximum penalty of 24 years in jail and an $8,000 fine.

Shusted said that, according to state law, only authorized agencies may handle the placement of children for adoption.

Two of the children were placed in foster homes in Cherry Hill, and the third in Berlin, he said.

Shusted said Kent was the first person indicted by a grand jury on adoption-related charges since he took office six years ago.

During that period, Shusted said, evidence had been presented to the grand jury on about 10 such cases, including two that involved lawyers. But the grand jury did not indict because it did not find “criminal intent,” Shusted said.

Two years ago, Shusted said, he had sent memoranda to the Camden County Bar Association and the Camden County Medical Society asking them to remind members not to assist in such adoptions.

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics

High Tribunal Raps Attorney for Conduct (1963)

Original publication: Courier-Post
Original publication date: January 22, 1963

“His conduct is dishonorable and brings the profession into disrepute.” -a NJ Supreme Court Justice referring to attorney Edward Kent

TRENTON (UPI) – The State Supreme Court Monday reprimanded lawyer Edward Kent of Levittown* for bypassing a Pennsylvania lawyer and dealing directly with his client.

The Pennsylvania lawyer, James P. Geoghegan, complained to the Burlington County Ethics Committee that Kent had sought to arrange settlement of an auto accident through direct dealings with Geoghegan’s client.

He said this violated the professional ethics. 

Kent represented Paul Colton, who was involved in an automobile accident with Geoghegan’s client, Harvey P. Moyer. Colton, who had moved from Pennsylvania to Levittown, N.J., was seeking to pay off $1,569.50 to Moyer in order to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey.

Kent said neither he nor Colton, were able to contact Geoghegan and that he then arranged to meet with Moyer in order to settle the manner of payment. Kent said he worked directly through Moyer because Colton needed to clear up the matter of payment quickly as he needed his car in order to work.

Kent sent a letter of apology to Geoghegan. The court held that because of Kent’s “candor and his acceptable apology,” Kent should not be disbarred from practice but should be reprimanded.

* Levittown is now Willingboro, NJ

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.