Lehigh Valley

Karoly partners claim no knowledge of 2006 will before Karoly's death

Two lawyers who were in business with Allentown malpractice attoney Peter Karoly testified today that they only became aware of Karoly's dsiputed 2006 will weeks after Karoly's death.

Attorneys Mark Crossley and Ed Eidelman were questioned in Northampton County Court.

Crossley said this afternoon that he did not even know Karoly had a will until two weeks after Karoly's death in a plane crash on Feb. 2, 2007. He said that will was signed in 1985.

Crossley also said that about a week later, he was told that another will existed -- this one signed by Karoly in 2006 -- and that he was named executor.

Crossley said he does not believe the signature on the 2006 will is Karoly's, partly because it was signed with a felt tip pen, and Karoly never used one.

Crossley said he began working for Karoly in 1991, when he was in law school, and came to consider him not only an employer, but a friend.

Most of Eidelman's testimony was given in the morning.

He described himself as Karoly's best friend, and said, "We were like brothers."

Eidelman said he learned that a will from 1985 existed about a week after Karoly's death.

Eidelman said a few weeks later, as he and Crossley were making plans to buy Karoly's law firm, they were told that a will from June 2, 2006, had surfaced.

That will was submitted by Karoly's brother, John Karoly Jr., who is now in prison for failing to pay taxes on more than $5 million in income and other charges.

Eidelman said he spoke with Peter Karoly about plans for his multi-million dollar estate around Christmas in 2006, during an afternoon get together at Pistachio's restaurant in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

He said Peter Karoly wanted to "leave some legacy" through a series of charitable trusts. Eidelman said Peter Karoly made no mention of the will he was suppposed to have signed six months before.

He said Karoly did not have him write down any specific ideas.

Eidelman said he and his wife were on a trip to Puerto Rico when he learned that Peter Karoly and his wife, dentist Lauren Angstadt, died.

He said he flew back home the next day.

Karoly's sisters -- Kim Luciano, Joanne Billman and Candice Pamerleau -- say the 2006 will is a fake.

Joshua Karoly and another beneficiary are contending it is not.

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