I recently encountered an anonymous critic on this blog who called himself "Coyote Waits", acted from the bushes, without revealing his identity, in insulting and patronizing manner, made conclusory allegations of incompetence to me, displayed an extremely sensitive male ego that could not withstand being called a sexist bully while he was acting as a sexist bully and who made his conclusions based on "review of my litigation history" - an instant review.
Since review of only one civil rights case may often require several days, and my anonymous critic (a male attorney, as he finally confessed) made his conclusions after allegedly reviewing ALL of my multi-year multi-court multi-case litigation history, I could make conclusions that either he is simply lying, or he is applying the TL;DR method, or both.
Unfortunately, I found the same TL;DR argument in the Report of the NYS Statewide Commission for Attorney Discipline.
Yet, since high-ranking attorneys and judges who commit misconduct usually camouflage that misconduct in top-lofty language and are professionals of such camouflage, they expressed it this way: that the Commission allegedly "did not have the luxury of time" to do its job thoroughly.
It intrigued me, because creation of the Commission was announced in February of 2015, Commission formed in March of 2015, as of June 2015, according to a judicial accountability advocate Elena Sassower, the Commission had no website, no telephone assigned and, likely, did nothing, there were no apparent rules restricting the Commission in the number of hearings it can hold or the number of witnesses it can hear, it was the Commission's decision to hear 8 to 16 witnesses a day instead of more than that, and fuller than 10 minutes a witness.
But, let's go to the report, and a very interesting situation with the so-called "luxury of time" emerges.
Here is what the Commission said in its Report and Recommendations of September 24, 2015:
Well, well, well.
As of February 25, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the COMPOSITION of the disciplinary committees is a big problem, in fact, a problem so big that operating disciplinary committees the way it is done now - by super-majorities of licensed professionals who are regulating other licensed professionals - is running afoul federal antitrust laws, which are, by the way, both civil and criminal.
So, the main concern of courts and committees since February 25, 2015 should have been, first of all, changing THAT problem, so that the committees are not run as criminal cartels.
That issue was not even touched upon by the Commission.
Instead, the Commission was discussing how to mend what is already broken to the point of criminality, as the U.S. Supreme Court said back in February 25, 2015.
That little omission is just one of the untruths about the "luxury of time".
The Commission made a point of analyzing the "history" of discussions - among attorneys and legal scholars only - of problems with uniformity, efficiency and fairness in New York disciplinary proceedings.
The Commission touched NONE of the multiple lawsuits, many of them successful, where various aspects of attorney disciplinary system in New York was found by various courts simply unconstitutional.
Yet, even when Commission analyzed reports by attorneys' associations, it appeared that the problem was not the lack of the "luxury of time", but the lack of desire to change the status quo in attorneys-regulating-attorneys, for their own benefit, obviously.
Look at the dates when issues that the Commission is currently reviewing were raised - and, once again, we are not even talking about the multiple pleadings where such issues were raised, but which the Chair of the Commission, with a stern and hostile face, refused to admit, refused to review, and fled as soon as the witness who was offering those pleadings, Elena Sassower, was shut up by himself and by the big armed court officer looming over her during the "public" hearing in New York City.
I myself know of four lawsuits that only I or my husband brought, where issues that the Commission was discussing, were raised:
- Neroni v Coccoma (my husband Pro Se), filed in 2013;
- Neroni v Peebles (myself, Pro Se), filed in 2014
- Neroni v Zayas (me as an attorney on behalf of my husband as a client), filed in 2013;
- Peters v Neroni (my removed and then remanded disciplinary case, 2013)
- in 1970 the American Bar Association issued a report, "the Clark Report" that was 45 YEARS AGO, raising the issues of lack of "uniformity in disciplinary enforcement throughout the state"
Naturally, in 1983 New York State Bar Association rejected those recommendations.
In 1985 New York State Bar Association issued its own report.
The Commission says nothing about the contents of the 1985 NYSBA report other than that it was inspired by the 1970 Clark Report which it ignored for 15 years before being "inspired", as it also rejected the two subsequent ABA reports.
So, beside scholarly studies also mentioned in the Commission's report, we have the following chronology of reports addressing issues of uniformity and fairness of attorney discipline in New York:
- 1970 - ABA "Clark Report"
- 1972 - NYS Judicial Conference "Christ Report"
- 1982 - ABA Standing Committee's TWO reports
- 1983 rejection of 1982 ABA report by NYSBA
- 1985 NYSBA report "inspired" by 1970 ABA "Clark's Report"
- 2015 Statewide Commission (Cozier's) Report.
- in Albany;
- in Buffalo and
- in NYC
Look at the numbers, ladies and gentlemen!
A total of 31 people appeared, and 50 people who wanted to testify were not allowed to do so.
The Commission could not accommodate JUST 50 WITNESSES! In public hearings on matters of serious public concerns that were not properly addressed since the Clark report of 1970, 45 years ago!
If 31 witnesses were heard in 3 days (with time restrictions), all 81 people could be heard in, let's say, 10 days without any time restrictions.
The Commission was announced in February, formed in March and submitted the report in September.
They did not have 10 days to accommodate just 50 extra witnesses?
While the witnesses that they invited were, in their absolute majority, attorneys?
Those are called PUBLIC hearings?
And wait, the Commission patted itself on the head as to how good it was in inviting reporters to the hearings:
So, the Report claims that a "videographer" was allegedly present to record the "entire proceeding". But, I was not given that recording pursuant to my FOIL request.
Also, the Commission modestly claimed that "an investigative reporter and photographer" from Long Island Backstory was present at the proceeding, with an inactive link leading to the general page of Long Island Backstory on YouTube (while there was an active link to publication in the New York Law Journal), yet the Commission report fails to mention that the "VIDEOGRAPHER" from the same Long Island Backstory, together with Gary Jacobs, the investigative reporter, was thrown out of the building when they attempted video recording, and a demand was made by a representative of the Commission that Gary Jacobs must leave the sidewalk before the building where the hearing was held, too, and that a video report of that incident was also available on YouTube, exposing the Commission for the sham that it is.
The Commission did not mention in its report that investigative journalist Gary Jacobs, from Long Island Backstory, simply suggested for the Commission to call the police to get him and his videographer off the sidewalk, which was, obviously bad for publicity for the Commission and was not done.
I ran a blog about this video report here.
And, the Commission does not mention the post-hearing video report of Elena Sassower describing how the Commission refused to see records material and relevant to the issues that were in front of the Commission, which Elena Sassower painstakingly put together and brought to the Commission - only to be rejected by Cozier.
Or Elena Sassower's statement post-hearing that courts are responsible for having the attorney disciplinary law in disarray by refusing to address attorneys' pleadings without an explanation. Elena Sassower mentioned that she had a lot more to say and was not allowed to cover her topics.
Or how members of the Commission fled after it closed the hearing, obviously afraid of any questions or comments from the public.
Or that the system is dysfunctional and corrupt, and those who were sitting in the presiding panel were responsible for that state of events.
There was simply NO GOOD REASON why witnesses who wanted to present any critical arguments or evidence, were harassed by the Commission, cut off, refused extra time, refused opportunity to present to the Commission important issues.
Omissions by the Commission in its Report as to what REALLY happened in the proceedings shows that the Commission was AFRAID that a proper record of the proceedings would be made by a professional crew of investigative journalists, capturing at the right angles, focuses and zooms, facial expressions and actions of participants and the presiding panel.
There is not one mention in the Commission's Report of criticism in the press and social media of its work, only references to laudatory reports.
Such self-praising presentation also does not promise that any real reforms will be made by this Commission.
So - too much time to save face, not enough time to do its job, so we are looking at another 45 years before any changes will be made in the old boys' club?