"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of
not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for
admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has
many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney
candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of
the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with
the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cos
It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law.
… The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is
not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become
a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is
to humiliate and degrade it.”

In Re Anastaplo,

18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366
U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A politically charged criminal contempt proceeding continues against a defense attorney for questioning the judge's integrity in a DWI trial - and an arrest warrant is issued. Time to take attorney regulation, and criminal contempt powers, from the hands of the judiciary

In yet another case proving that regulation of the legal profession should be taken out of the hands of the judiciary, an attorney in Texas has been charged with criminal contempt for telling the jury that he is going to prove how hard it is to get a fair trial in court before Judge Nancy Hohengarten in Travis County, Texas.

This judge.

The targeted attorney is also a political opponent, running on a Green Party ticket for the Senate and previously running for a Criminal Appeals court seat.

The court actually issued an arrest warrant against the attorney because he did not appear at his own criminal trial because he was sick (and had documents from a doctor about it).

But, of course, judges nowadays are such good diagnosticians - without medical licenses of course (which is illegal, but who cares), and the judge "did not buy the ploy" of a documented medical illness of a criminal defense attorney.

I bet that if a prosecutor was ill, only her word, no medical documentation, would be needed to postpone the trial.

This case is certainly a 1st amendment case and a case where judges should be prohibited from bringing criminal charges against attorneys questioning their own impartiality.

Such tactics not only are obviously used for political ends, but undermine independence of representation in criminal (and civil) cases.

American men, and fathers, under the axe of a danger of fabricated sex abuse charges - at all times

Here is an interesting (and eerie) case from Oregon.

Prosecutors made a motion to recuse a judge from a sex abuse criminal case citing "a laundry list" of her alleged indiscretion, predominantly that she is allegedly "soft on criminals" and gives super-light sentences.

The prosecutors hold a grudge against the judge, because the judge acquitted a man charged with a nonsense sex abuse case against his own daughter:

To be charged for sexual abuse of your own child because:  

  • the father allegedly kissed the daughter's neck; and
  • the father allegedly "grabbed the child's buttock underneath her shorts"
is a nonsense charge to begin with, because reasonable doubt is spelled all over it.

There are a variety of circumstances when a parent can do both of these things without any criminal intent to commit a sex act on their own child.

A parent can grab the child either accidentally, or to prevent the child from falling, for example.

It is horrible how easily sex abuse cases may be manufactured in this country.

And, it is understandable (not in a good way) why prosecutors sought recusal of a judge "soft on criminals" - or who, apparently, may be requiring prosecutors to prosecute real charges instead of the horrible nonsense that they are making up, to the detriment of the people.

Is it ethical for a prosecutor to solicit a guilty plea from an exonerated prisoner in order to save their ass and prevent the state from being sued?

In Nevada, a man spent 29 years ON DEATH ROW - luckily, the state did not expedite his execution, as two recent cases with likely claims of innocence were.

Charles Robins, of Arizona, was arrested and went to prison, on death row, at the age of 19.

Of course, Charles Robins is black - African Americans predominate the death row population in the United States.

Charles Robins was convicted and sentenced to death for allegedly beating to death a 6-month-old child of his girlfriend.

Now new evidence emerged that the child may have died of childhood scurvy, a disease with symptoms mimicking symptoms of child abuse.

Since there is a question whether a child has died, in a 29-year-old case, where the body has long been buried and evidence destroyed - of a natural death, that is "reasonable doubt" that must prevent a criminal conviction.

But, that is not so in Charles Robins case.

He did not come out a free and exonerated person.

He came out a convicted murderer with time served.

Because prosecutors in the case considered it ethically possible to play on emotions of a person who was on death row for 29 years - obviously wrongfully - by re-charging him after the conviction was overturned, and offering him a plea bargain that he could not turn down: still plead to an unlawful killing and time served.

I wonder what Arizona State Bar has to say about behavior of prosecutors in this case?


Is it suddenly ethical in Arizona to solicit a guilty plea to a murder in a case where reasonable doubt is spelled out by the new evidence - using the defendant's desire to get out of prison after nearly 30 years on death row?

The super-Democratic California's double-take on for profit prisons - forced labor for the poor and lavish paid accomodations for the rich prisoners

Oh, California, the land of the free!

The state suing President Trump for its right to defy federal immigration law, including criminal federal immigration law, while keeping discretionary federal funds.

The state disbarring attorneys for catching judges in corrupt schemes - like it was repeatedly done by California State Bar to:

The state where the California State Bar itself was stripped by the legislature of their power to collect licensing fees because of its own corruption - only to be overruled by the state Supreme Court that reinstated the money power in the corrupt State Bar.

This state has one more "access-to-justice" soft spot - for-profit prisons.

No, not only THOSE kinds of for-profit prisons where indigent prisoners are exploited as slave labor by well-known corporations, to the delight of American consumers "enjoying" the resulting "competitive" low prices.

California also has a different kind of for-profit prisons - for richer prisoners, providing for them accommodations that other prisoners do not have - for a fee.

If you want a "smaller, quieter jail", "away from prison population" - in other words, if you want to spend your time like a human being, not in an overpopulated, overcrowded and unsafe conditions - you need to pay, up to $155 a night (and those were 2013 prices).

Now the price per night is reportedly $250.

So, we have not only a for-profit prison system in the U.S. and in the "democratic" state of California, but a two-tier for-profit prison system - slavery for the poor and comfort-for-pay for the rich.

Intimidation of lawyers to not represent unpopular clients now affects President's attorney?

There have been interesting reports, from the point of view of independence of legal representation, in the context of legal representation of President Trump.

Many things have been inadvertently exposed in the legal profession and the judiciary with the election of Donald Trump.

For example:

(by the way, the link leads to Gillibrand's re-election/ fundraising campaign site).

It is suddenly "in vogue" for judges to block rules of attorney discipline based on frivolous lawsuits of "in vogue" people - even if such rules are identical to the rules the same judges maintain in their own courts.

And, finally, recently the President's attorney was intimidated with disciplinary complaints in DC and NY because he allegedly gave advice to White House employees who he did not represent.

Of course, many prosecutors and judges do just the same, "advising" litigants and defendants left and right, as to which criminal defendants (that the prosecutors and judges in question do not like) not to choose.

But, nobody ever considers that a problem.

Disciplinary complaints against Marc Kasowitz appear to be clearly political - because now it has been reported that representation of the President whom the legal profession is filibustering in droves because, apparently, he upset the apple cart of seats already distributed by Clinton - at a hefty price to the "donors" - puts the entire law firm of the President's attorney "at crossroads".

Now, why is that?

Why should representation of a particular client subject an attorney to ostracism?  Aren't all people in the U.S. equal under the law?

Aren't all people entitled to legal counsel and defense?

Is not the legal profession "honorable"?

Is not attorney regulation and discipline exist only to protect consumers from attorneys who are dishonest or incompetent - which Marc Kasowitz is obviously neither?

At least, nobody tried to do anything to him until he started to do the unthinkable - represent the President of the United States.

So, now hints are heavily dropped that the law firm will be boycotted, and the "lead rainmaker" Marc Kasowitz will be "out of the picture" because of representation of the President?

Again - why is that?

Federal Judge Margo Brodie strikes at an indigent civil rights litigant - again

I recently wrote a blog about a federal #judgeMargoBrodie, a favorite of Senator Schumer, who dismissed, without disclosure of her conflict of interest (she represented New York City, the defendant in the action, in the past), a civil rights case of an indigent taxi driver because, as the judge arrogantly stated, a "state law procedure" was available for the driver - while 42 U.S.C. 1983, the Civil Rights Act, gives civil rights plaintiffs the right to choose federal court as their forum of choice, and gives a federal judge no authority whatsoever to force upon a civil rights plaintiff the choice of state court to bring his civil rights action.

Yet another case where Judge Brodie screwed an indigent civil rights plaintiff of her day in court was reported in June of 2017.

In the case Hennsler v DEC decided this month, Judge Brodie had outdone herself in incompetence and arrogant abuse of power against he poor.

An indigent woman asked DEC to approve building a residence on her inherited property in order to generate income to feed her two children.

DEC denied the request.

The woman sued for a constitutional violation.

Judge Brodie tossed out the lawsuit because she found that:

  1. the woman should have pled more facts (before discovery) indicating how her constitutional rights were violated, while all records related to violations were in possession of DEC, and while Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require notice pleading and not factual pleading - which the judge has no authority to change;
  2. DEC has "sovereign immunity secured by the 11th Amendment, while, of course,
    1. 11th Amendment has nothing to do with sovereign immunity - as the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized 18 years ago, of which Judge Brodie is seemingly unaware;
    2. 11th Amendment, by its text, does not bar lawsuits of citizens of a state against their own state, and the text of the constitutional amendment controls over any incorrect interpretation of that text;
    3. New York specifically waived sovereign immunity in 1925 through the Court of Claims Act.
  3. The plaintiff had available to her a "process" of contesting the denial of building permit before the DEC - thus amending the Civil Rights Act and imposing forum choice and exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement upon the plaintiff, for which the judge had no Article III constitutional authority.
It appears that abuse of power against the poor is becoming Judge Brodie's penchant.

New York Court system found 3 million dollars for summer retreats - oops, "seminars" - for judges, to teach them how to give people their "day in court"

Ok, so New York state has an ever expanding "justice gap" where majority of New Yorkers cannot afford an attorney.

For that reason, New York invents various alternatives to attorneys (like "court navigators", "Legal Hand" and the like), while refusing to abolish attorney regulation that causes the justice gap in the first place.

And, recently, New York's very Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed bipartisan bicamerally approved legislation for additional funding of criminal defense.

Yet, at the same time New York State raised salaries to judges - dramatically so, last year, while one of the reasons for raising such salaries was to reimburse the judges for their trouble of having to deal with indigent pro se defendants.

And now, New York State Unified Court system, in a completely shameless "gesture", found 3 million dollars (!!!) to fund "summer seminars" for its judges.

The 3 million dollars were suddenly found after these same seminars were discontinued for 8 years (under Chief Judge Lippman) because of budget constraints.

There are no budget constraints under Chief Judge DiFiore, the one who yelled at reporters of her corruption threatening them that her husband has personal numbers of all U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

So, the shameless "initiative" to yank judges off their "crushing caseloads" in order to lavish themselves in a Hudson Valley hotel for 4 days - to be taught how to manage those same "crushing caseloads" and give people "their day in court".

Of course, neither raising salaries for judges, not taking time out of their super-busy (allegedly) schedule to wine and dine them and teach them how to manage that schedule to work miracles like Jesus Christ and feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread, will not stretch the hours or help a situation where there are more cases than the existing number of judges can ETHICALLY handle, giving all litigants as much opportunity to be heard, as is constitutionally required.

There is no way around expanding court systems and simply having more judges to handle "crushing caseloads".  3 mln of taxpayer dollars spent on "summer seminars" could fund salaries of 15 new judges, significantly relieving the caseload.

Instead, DiFiore's court system chose to pour taxpayer money down the drain and teach judges how to cut their time short to create an illusion that people had "their day in court" - by having a rushed minute in court without proper representation before a frustrated and yelling judge, case finished.

All of that to pursue "excellence".

So, now New York judges will be entitled not only to their nearly $200,000 salaries, but to additional vacation time paid by taxpayers, to be spent at luxury resorts in order to be "educated" - how to be more professional, competent and ethical.

And this feast in time of plague is, of course, done, at taxpayers' expense, to further DiFiore's "Excellence Initiative".

New York taxpayers should have no doubt where their money is going and why people are fleeing the State of New York.