Yeshiva University of New York announced last month a $15 million gift from Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter, his wife Laura Perlmutter, and the Perlmutter Foundation to the Cardozo School Of Law to create the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice. Or as Bleeding Cool has styled it, a "Justice League".
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of YU and Melanie Leslie, Cardozo Law dean announced the donation, the largest in the law school's history, stating that the Center will "train lawyers to prevent the use of junk science in court cases, fight wrongful convictions and obtain clemency for the unjustly incarcerated. It will focus on correcting the devastating consequences of junk science in the courtroom, a problem that is prevalent in the legal system and disproportionately impacts people of color."
It may also be noted that Laura Perlmutter is involved in litigation claiming that she was falsely implicated in a hate-mail campaign against a Florida neighbour Harold Peerenboom, which includes claims of contaminated DNA results against her.
Bleeding Cool covered at length the legal battle between Marvel Entertainment Chairman and multi-billionaire Ike Perlmutter and his wife Laura Perlmutter, against Canadian tycoon Harold Peerenboom, for many years. Beginning with a disagreement over who should ruin the tennis court in their private Palm Beach residential area, it blew up into allegations of hate mail campaigns and false flag operations. DNA theft, and the staff of Marvel Comics being used for research purposes. Recently libel suits against the Perlmutters were dismissed, and it looked like this particular Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce was coming to an end.
Laura Perlmutter, named in earlier suits by Perenboom and notable for being on former President Donald Trump's Inauguration Committee, filed a lawsuit accusing New York law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres, who represented Perenboom, of "maliciously prosecuting a lawsuit" that Laura says falsely claimed she was behind a hate-mail campaign. And accuses the firm, and a former partner Michael Bowen, of "a conscious indifference to the consequences of their actions," including seeking prosecution based on stolen DNA test results that she says falsely implicated her. The lawsuit states that "Mrs. Perlmutter has suffered years of false accusations and has been the target of salacious and outrageous malicious prosecution at the hands of Kasowitz Benson and Bowen, and, as a result, has suffered emotional distress and financial harm to the tune of tens of millions of dollars." Kasowitz Benson stated to Reuters that the claims are false. Emily Thall, chief marketing officer for the firm, told Bloomberg that the "allegations are as false as the false denials she and her husband made in the underlying lawsuit concerning their involvement in the hate-mail campaign against Mr. Peerenboom."
The new executive director of the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law, prominent civil rights attorney and criminal justice reform advocate Josh Dubin, had helped the Perlmutters in the litigation. And the intent appears to be to help others going through similar situations as the Perlmutters, for those without their billions to fall back on.
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law is intended to have two components: a student field clinic called The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic at Cardozo Law – a Freedom Force if you will – that will focus on fighting wrongful convictions based on the misuse of scientific evidence and work to obtain clemency for individuals unjustly incarcerated. The second component, The Perlmutter Forensic Science Education Program, will feature a continuing legal education curriculum in scientific evidence designed for practising attorneys.
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice will be led by prominent civil rights attorney and criminal justice reform advocate Josh Dubin, who will serve as executive director. The deputy director will be Derrick Hamilton, a formerly incarcerated individual who studied law in prison. Hamilton won his own exoneration after serving a 21-year sentence and led the effort to exonerate five wrongfully incarcerated inmates.
"We are tremendously grateful to Laura and Ike Perlmutter for this gift," Berman said. "It builds on Cardozo's proud tradition of innovation in the fight for justice, and it reaffirms Yeshiva's core values of truth, compassion and redemption, among others."
Melanie Leslie says "It is essential that trial lawyers have a deep understanding of scientific evidence. The acceptance of and reliance on junk science has caused untold damage to the legitimacy of the court system and countless lives. The Perlmutters' generous gift, and the new team at the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice, will enable Cardozo to train generations of lawyers in the proper use of forensic science".
Ike Perlmutter, who sold Marvel to Disney though remained its chairman, was the largest donor to Donald Trump's Presidential campaigns, Laura sat on Trump's Inauguration Committee, and Ike became a controversial part of the Veteran's Administration. Both were chosen to dine with Trump at Mar-A-Lago for Thanksgiving instead of his own family. Also, counter-intuitively, the Perlmutters are the largest donors funding transsexual surgical operations in the USA.