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Former White House Counsel Loses Final Appeal in $28.6M Civil Judgment

October 26, 2016

R. Robin McDonald, The Connecticut Law Tribune (October 25, 2016).

John Michael Farren arraigned in state Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn., on Jan. 7, 2010.
Attorneys for the ex-wife of Xerox Corp.’s former general counsel who also served as a deputy White House counsel are now taking steps to collect a $28.6 million judgment against him now that the U.S. Supreme Court has foreclosed his final chance at an appeal.

The high court on Oct. 11 denied without comment a petition for a writ of certiorari by J. Michael Farren, who served as deputy White House counsel during the George W. Bush administration and was Xerox’s general counsel from 2003-07.  Last summer, Farren petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his appeal of the civil default judgment, which was entered by a Connecticut trial judge in 2013 after Farren failed to show up for the trial.

"We are finally at the point where Mr. Farren has exhausted his legal options, and this case can be closed once and for all," said Ernest Teitell, a partner with Silver Golub & Teitell in Stamford who represented the ex-wife, Mary Margaret Farren. "He tried for years to manipulate the legal system by playing games to delay the proceedings and prevent us from getting justice. That game is now finally over."

Farren was convicted two years ago of attempted murder two days after his then-wife served him with divorce papers. Farren strangled her and beat her, first with his fists, and then with a metal flashlight, inflicting traumatic brain injuries and facial fractures. He is currently serving a 15-year prison term. Farren's ex-wife is an attorney who, before the attack, was of counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C.

Farren represented himself in the civil litigation before his conviction. He failed to appear on the day the trial began. His attorneys later told the Connecticut Law Tribune that Farren was suicidal and was involuntarily committed to a Connecticut psychiatric hospital, where he was cut off from all communication.

But Farren never provided the court with a letter from his treating physician substantiating that claim.

Glastonbury attorney Emily Gianquinto of EAG Law, who is listed as Farren's counsel on the Supreme Court certiorari petition, could not be reached for comment.

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