Attorneys for Stan Lee, of Marvel Comics legend, were back in court recently to request a renewal of a protective order against a previous business manager. Lee’s legal battle to retain control over his fortune and decision-making capabilities illustrate all too well how seniors can become victims of elder abuse. Fortunately, Lee was granted a renewal of the protective order; however, many seniors are not as fortunate.
Who Represents Lee?
Before the issue of the restraining order could be addressed, the judge first had to determine who represented Lee. In the tiny courtroom packed with current and former attorneys and associates of Lee, lawyer Tom Lallas asked for a 30-day extension of the temporary restraining order he had received against Lee’s former manager Keya Morgan. A previous restraining order issued in June against Morgan was dismissed in July over confusion about Lee’s legal representation. Lallas has said in legal documents and news releases in recent weeks that he was representing Lee.
Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Ruth Kleman refused to consider the motion, saying it appeared Lallas was not employed by Lee. Lee’s daughter and only child, J.C. Lee, sat in court and smiled at her lawyers when the judge refused to recognize Lallas. Lawyers working with her had provided a signed declaration from Stan Lee denouncing Lallas and stating that he had fired Lallas in February and had no desire to be further represented by him. It also said Morgan had likely committed malpractice by disclosing to media and others his opinions about Lee’s health and personal life. It said that he had no desire for Lallas to file for a restraining order in his name. Ultimately, it was determined that Jonathan Freund was representing Lee.
The Protective Order
Stan Lee won renewal of the elder-abuse protective order issued against a onetime business manager accused of subjecting the 95-year-old Spider-Man co-creator to elder abuse after taking charge of his affairs earlier this year. Keya Morgan, a New York-based memorabilia collector who became involved with Lee following the death of Lee’s wife last year, must stay least 100 yards away from the Marvel magnate for the next three years, the restraining order states. The order further requires Morgan, also known as Keyrash Mazhari, to stay away from Lee’s daughter, Joan Celia “C.J.” Lee, 68, and his 86-year-old brother, Larry Lieber.
The original petition and supporting documents alleged Morgan seized control of Lee’s home and hired security guards with orders to keep away trusted relatives and associates of Lee before moving him from his longtime home to an unfamiliar condominium. In doing so, the petition alleged, Morgan was “unduly influencing” and “isolating” Lee. Morgan has also been accused of embezzling or misappropriating $5 million worth of Lee’s assets. Morgan has denied allegations of abuse; however, he was arrested in June on suspicion of making a false police report for placing an emergency 911 call for a burglary in progress at Lee’s home. The call was made after two police detectives and a social worker arrived to check on Lee’s welfare, according to a police affidavit filed with the original petition.
Police Investigate Elder Abuse
Los Angeles police continue to investigate reports of elder abuse against Stan Lee. The protective order prohibits Morgan from getting within 100 yards of Lee; however, that order is completely separate from the ongoing elder abuse investigation. Morgan was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report by calling 911 and saying burglars were in his house when in fact two detectives and a social worker were conducting a welfare check on Lee. Morgan was released Monday after his arrest. He is already serving two years of probation for making criminal threats in an unrelated dispute, and he has been summoned back to court to determine whether he has violated the probation. If convicted of elder abuse as a felony, Morgan could face a prison term of up to four years.
Contact California Elder Law Attorneys
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding elder abuse, contact the experienced California elder law attorneys at Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation by calling (951) 888-1460 to schedule an appointment.