Fraud Upon The Court
“As an officer of the court, a member of the bar enjoys singular powers that others do not possess; by virtue of admission, members of the bar share a kind of monopoly granted only to lawyers. Admission creates a license not only to advise and counsel clients but also to appear in court and try cases; as an officer of the court, a lawyer can cause persons to drop their private affairs and be called as witnesses in court, and for depositions and other pretrial processes that, while subject to the ultimate control of the court, may be conducted outside courtrooms. The license granted by the court requires members of the bar to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the role of courts in the administration of justice.” (Citing In re Snyder, 472 U.S. 634, 644 (1985)).
“`Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions.’ [An attorney is] received into that ancient fellowship for something more than private gain. He [becomes] an officer of the court, and, like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice.” People ex rel. Karlin v. Culkin, 248 N.Y. 465, 470-471, 162 N.E. 487, 489 (1928) (citation omitted).
“Affirming dismissal of § 2255 motion based on fraud on the court on finding that petitioner’s “proffered evidence did not establish that the prosecution intentionally permitted or condoned the lying” and thus petitioner “failed to present ‘clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence’ of an intentional fraud on the court by the federal prosecutors U.S. v. Burke 321 Fed. Appx. 125 (3d Cir. 2009)
In order to meet the necessarily demanding standard for proof of fraud upon the court we conclude that there must be: (1) an intentional fraud; (2) by an officer of the court; (3) which is directed at the court itself; and (4) in fact deceives the court. We further conclude that a determination of fraud on the court may be justified only by “the most egregious misconduct directed to the court itself,” and that it “must be supported by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence.” In re Coordinated Pretrial Proceedings in Antibiotic Antitrust Actions, 538 F.2d 180, 195 (8th Cir. 1976) (citations omitted).
The New Jersey Supreme Court was asked in Shammas v. Shammas29 to interpret the “fraud on the court” phrase. 9 N. J. 321, 88 A.2d 204 (1952); see also Lyster v. Berberich, 65 A.2d 632 (N. J. Super. App. Div. 1949); Williams v. DeFabio, 65 A.2d 858 (N. 3. Super. App. Div. 1949); and see 98 U. or’ PA. L. REv. 117, n.2.
The New Jersey Supreme Court expressly rejected the argument that if intrinsic fraud was allowed to upset judgments endless litigation would result, and (3) held that either intrinsic or extrinsic fraud was within the “fraud on the court” term. The interpretation of New Jersey’s Supreme Court stems from a more realistic understanding of the intention of the framers of Federal Rule 60(b) and of the more sensible application of the doctrine of fraud upsetting judgments. Shammas v. Shammas, supra note 32, 88 A.2d at 208, “[U]pon principle, we hold that relief for fraud upon the court may be allowed under our rule whether the fraud charged is denominated intrinsic or extrinsic.”
The 7th Circuit further stated “a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final……” Kenner v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 387 F.2d 689, 691 (7th Cir. 1968). See 12 James W. Moore, Moore’s Federal Practice § 60.81 (3d ed. 2007)(noting that fraud on the court deals with integrity of the courts).
“Fraud On The Court By An Officer Of The Court State or Federal” Provides For An Independent Actions In Equity. State and federal attorneys fall into the same general category and must meet the same requirements. People v. Zajic, 88 Ill.App.3d 477, 410 N.E.2d 626 (1980).
White Collar Crime, a term reportedly first coined in 1939, is synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. “Intrinsic fraud includes fraudulent instruments, perjure testimony, or any matter which was actually presented to and considered by the trial court in rendering judgment.” Intrinsic fraud is defined as “fraud which misleads a court in determining issues and induces the court to find for the party perpetrating the fraud. The classic case of intrinsic fraud is perjured testimony or presenting forged documents at trial. Allegations that a party failed to disclose documents also generally amount to intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, fraud.” Raby Const. LLP v. Orr; 358 S.C. 10, 594 S.E.2d 478 (2004)(citing Chewning, 354 S.C. at 82, 579 S.E.2d at 610-11). See, e.g., Bryan v. Bryan, 220 S.C. at 169, 66 S.E.2d at 611; James F. Flanagan, South Carolina Civil Procedure at 485 (2d ed. 1996). see also Universal Minerals, Inc. v. C.A. Hughes & Co., 669 F.2d 98, 102-03 (3d Cir.1981); cf. TSC Industries, Inc. v. Northway, Inc., 426 U.S. 438, 450, 96 S.Ct. 2126, 2133, 48 L.Ed.2d 757 (1976) (materiality of misrepresentation or omission under securities laws mixed question of law and fact).