As an attorney, I opposed, on behalf of my client, a subpoena to have a deposition at a church, in other words, an exercise of state power compelling a person, under the threat of arrest and incarceration for contempt of court, to enter and remain in a house of worship, over the person's objection.
The attorney who wanted to compel my clients' appearance there was a part time New York State (Town of Denning) judge Jonathan S. Follender.
The person who spread the rumors that I am nuts for siding with my clients on the issue of freedom FROM religion in that case is the current Acting Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard, who (without disclosure) was the law partner of the recently retired Delaware County Judge Carl F. Becker.
Hubbard contaminated all criminal and Family Court child abuse cases handled by Judge Becker from 2002 to July of 2015 when Becker retired - but he keenly followed the "deposition in a church" case, because he was previously involved in that case as a real estate attorney.
And, I opposed public officials advancing their religious beliefs in their public office.
And, I opposed consideration of attending church or singing in a church choire as a factor in granting any benefits by federal, state and local governments.
But, as to the recent Texas case where a lawyer is threatened with discipline for praying for the successful outcome of a case and posting his prayers on Facebook - I support the lawyer, even though I myself am not religious.
Work of an attorney is tough, and that is demonstrated by:
- high rates of suicides among lawyers;
- high rates of alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety among lawyers.
If a prosecutor would be caught posting prayers on Facebook, there would be an avalanche of "God bless-ings" from the audience, because a prosecutor is presumed to be "on the right side" and is praying "for the right cause", while a criminal defense attorney praying for a positive outcome for his client is commonly perceived as a scumbag praying for another scumbag get away from his just punishment, no presumption of innocence exists in the mind of the general public.
And, as a contrast, if a criminal defense attorney would have a couple of trips to a mental health hospital, he would immediately be in front of disciplinary authorities questioning whether the lawyer is still qualified to practice law.
Not so if that same lawyer is a prosecutor. For example, the Dallas, TX DA Susan Hawk is back from her THIRD trip to a mental health hospital and is handling criminal cases, including - since it is Texas, a death penalty case, death penalty cases, too.
So, a mentally ill prosecutor can make a decision whether to pursue taking a person's life through the power of the state, and a civilian attorney's license would be revoked if he shows just some mental h health disability, as it happened in New York to attorney David Roosa who was, without ANY prior mental health hospitalization (I reviewed his lawsuit challenging legitimacy of suspension) suspended for 7 years because of "mental disability".
It is apparent that a criminal defense attorneys are treated differently in the disciplinary process than prosecutors.
Texas should stop using attorney licensing process to take out criminal defense attorneys to suit the needs of the prosecution.
Texas should refrain from prosecuting a criminal defense attorney for posting prayers on Facebook at the request of his opponent, a criminal prosecutor.
If a criminal defense attorney needs the help of the Almighty in his work - and in this country, criminal courts are extremely harsh and unfair, even judges themselves admit that - the state must not interfere.