Vietnam-based Israel out of Hillbroom suit


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Tuesday removed Vietnam-based lawyer Barry J. Israel as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Junior Larry Hillbroom.

Israel’s dismissal is with prejudice, which means Hillbroom could no longer re-file his claims against the lawyer.

Israel, however, remains a party in the case as he has a pending crossclaim against Keith Waibel, who is his co-defendant and the former trustee of Hillbroom’s assets.

The judge issued the order after Hillbroom and Israel filed Friday a stipulation to dismiss the lawyer from the complaint soon after arriving at a settlement. Saipan Tribune is still verifying whether the parties have submitted a copy of their settlement to the court.

Manglona said the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a court may dismiss an action at the plaintiff’s request.

Rachel A. Dimitruk is counsel for Hillbroom, while Theodore W. Frank is the lawyer for Israel.

Another defendant in the case, Guam lawyer David J. Lujan, and Waibel have also been in talks with Hillbroom about a possible settlement.

Hillbroom is suing Israel, Lujan, and Waibel over alleged mismanagement of approximately $90 million that he inherited from his father, Larry Lee Hillblom, a co-founder and former owner of DHL Worldwide Express.

In his lawsuit, Hillbroom alleged Lujan and Israel, together with Waibel, conspired in 2001 to boost their contingency fee when the estate of Hillblom was undergoing probate. Lujan, Israel, and Waibel have denied the allegations. Lujan and Israel have also filed counter-claims against Waibel. Waibel in turn, also filed counterclaims against Lujan and Israel.

Hillbroom, a Palauan, is one of the four DNA-proven children of Hillblom. His name is spelled differently from that of Hillblom.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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