"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).

“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 cost.

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.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"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.

“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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Punishing people for misconduct, Georgia style - the State of Georgia is tough on a criminal defense attorney for reasons unrelated to quality of his services - while continues to allow #ThiefJudgeBrendaWeaver to run loose without discipline

Misconduct, of course, should be punished.

And, the public should be protected..

And, the state of Georgia vigorously protects the public.

Kind of.

The State of Georgia just disbarred a criminal defense attorney  #KeithBrianHarkleroad because he had the audacity to handle a criminal jury trial for a client while not being "in good standing" for the following supposedly egregious reasons:

  1. he was late in paying licensing fees that year, and
  2. only obtained 6 CLE credits out of 8 required for the reporting period.

None of the "offenses" were of any moral turpitude.

There is no correlation between the number of CLE hours an attorney obtained and performance in court.

The attorney "substantially complied" with CLE requirements - having completed 6 out of 8 CLE hours.

None of the attorney's "transgressions" involved dishonesty, incompetence, or misconduct of any kind towards a client.

Yet, the decision is - professional death.  Disbarment.  Permanent loss of reputation and livelihood. The public is protected from a competent defense attorney, I guess, the State of Georgia has a lot of them to spare - a penny a dozen.

At the very same time, #JudgeBrendaWeaver who was caught last year in instituting a fabricated criminal proceeding (since dropped, after a public outrage), with the help of her own former law clerk - turned prosecutor against a journalist and his attorney for seeking public records that would reveal racist conduct of one judge (who ran from the bench) and Judge Brenda Weaver's own shenanigans in misusing public funds and trying to cover it up - remains at large, not charged for any crime (because who will charge her, her own former law clerk and co-conspirator?)

Just recently U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara lamented that he knows how the Moreland Commission (on public corruption) felt when disbanded by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo after it started investigating Andrew Cuomo.

Of course, it was Preet Bharara himself who refused to prosecute Andrew Cuomo for disbanding the Moreland Commission when the Moreland Commission started to investigate Andrew Cuomo.

Here, the State of Georgia - by duping the public to answer trickily posed questions at a referendum - disbanded the Judicial Qualifications Commission when it started to investigate its own Chief of Commission.

Moreover, after

Intellius search claims that Jenni L Weaver has a relative by the name of Brenda Weaver:

Fannin County officials (where the whole saga took place about Judge Weaver fabricating criminal charges and jailing, with the help of judge's former law clerk-turned-prosecutor, a journalist and his attorney) confirmed, according to my sources, that Jenni L Weaver is Judge Brenda Weaver's daughter.

So, good luck expecting that the new, independent, transparent and reformed Judicial Qualifications Commission will now investigate all complaints pending at the time of disbandment of its predecessor - including the complaint against the #ThiefJudgeBrendaWeaver - instead of reciting the Mowgli pledge:

"We be of one blood, ye and I".

Nothing changed.

Judge Weaver is still in saddle, not charged, not by state authorities, not by the FBI, and certainly not disciplined.

The new Commission is now headed by Judge Weaver's former colleague of many years, and a recent employer of Judge Weaver's daughter.

So, the Mowgli pledge "We be of one blood, ye and I" is the beginning and the end of "protecting the public" from misconduct of licensed attorneys (judges included) in the State of Georgia.

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