This disaster for access to justice (since intimidation of a court representative strips all Americans of independent and effective legal representation, especially in cases where the government is their opponent in litigation) is dealt a complete blanket of silence in the press, with the exception of blunt enumeration of the laundry-list - as it has been done in this article - of what were the grounds for dismissal of a lawyer's constitutional challenge to his disciplinary proceedings, without any attempt at honest critical analysis of what is going on.
This is a tabooed topic in the American "noble" legal academia, too. In my personal experience and in the experience of many attorneys disciplined for criticism of the judiciary who dared to talk to me on the subject, American "constitutional law" professors, including very prominent ones, duck and refuse to support disciplined attorneys in such constitutional challenges - for fear of being booted out of their lucrative, well-paid, ABA-regulated, law school professorships.
But, this topic is a matter of grave public concern and MUST be addressed - since:
- disciplinary proceedings against lawyers in this country have long turned into witch-hunts against effective independent solo and small firm attorneys, especially, civil rights, criminal defense, family court and consumer debt attorneys (I was all of the above),
- lawyers are denied basic fairness in such license revocation proceedings - fairness afforded in similar license revocation proceedings of all other 1,100 regulated professions in the United States, fairness afforded to other "civil" litigants;
- with the majority of the nation's more than 1 mln lawyers working for corporation and just a mere speck working for the "ordinary" "unrich" Americans, the chasm, the "justice gap", the inequality of being unable to find legal help and representatives who would be able and not afraid to effectively represent people in court drives people to absolute despair - just read what is going on in judicial forums about court corruption, CPS abductions of children from parents on fabricated charges, wrongful convictions, police and guard brutality.
Here is what is happening to a lawyer in the so-called disciplinary proceedings.
1. While, say, a doctor's license (and all other types of professional licenses) is, first, revoked by an executive body and the doctor may then sue that executive body (the Lisensor) in court, challenging the legality of such a revocation (also not an ideal situation, but still), it is different with an attorney.
A doctor has on option to sue:
A. Either in the lower state court, and then he/she is afforded normal court procedures and, if his claim is denied, goes up the court system with his appeals,
B. Or in the lower federal court, and then he is afforded full discovery and a jury trial.
Not so with a lawyer.
With a lawyer, the licensor (executive body) is actually the top state court that acts in the same disciplinary proceeding as a party (the body issuing and revoking licenses), a legislator that writes procedural and substantive laws for such procedures, an investigator, prosecutor and judge.
And, while for everybody else, but lawyers, the top state court is the last appellate court, for lawyers it us the first (trial) court, so there are no appeals as of right, nowhere to appeal, while the US Supreme Court takes only those appeals that it wants to take and never took a lawyer disciplinary case in 50 years.
And, a lawyer has no option to go to a federal court, like a doctor has, to challenge revocation of his law license - ever.
Here is how it works.
Since a doctor's professional license is revoked by an executive body, his federal lawsuit is not barred under the so-called Rooker-Feldman doctrine (illegal, court-invented, a restriction to jurisdiction of federal courts invented by courts in violation of Articles 1 and 3 of the US Constitution).
Since a lawyer's license is revoked (the nature of the action is the same) by a court (even though acting in the same capacity as the doctor's Licensor, an executive body), the federal court
A. Claims that the Licensor - as a court - is immune from lawsuit, and that
B. Since the license was revoked (by the Licensor) calling itself a court, a federal lawsuit is barred under the court-created Rooker-Feldman doctrine forbidding to "re-litigate" state court decisions in federal courts.
Knowing this, the lawyer in this Pennsylvania attorney disciplinary case has filed a challenge in federal court immediately when a disciplinary action was filed against him in - and by - the top state appellate court.
Saying - under the federal Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983 - "I have a right to have my federal constitutional challenges heard by a federal court, by a jury".
Here is what the lawyer
has got for his efforts - a dismissal of his civil rights lawsuit without a review on the merits by the federal court, by a judge with a law license from the defendant-licensor-top state appellate court, by a judge whose continued employment, and livelihood, depend on keeping this license, and, thus, keeping himself in the good graces of the defendant-court-licensor).
I will have to explain in a separate article how the state disciplinary proceedings were going on and why a lawyer of 29 years' experience has finally lost it and went to federal court to address the mess going on in the Pennsylvania top state court.
Suffice it to say that - predictably - the whole mess was based on 3 premises:
1) allegations that the lawyer criticized 2 judges of the Pennsylvania State Judicial Compensation Board for engaging in ex parte communications with opposing counsel;
3) that opponents of the lawyer were trying to use to their advantage the recent illegal decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding the ability of suspended attorney Andy Ostrowski to represent clients before that same board - which the statute said he (and anybody without any law license or formal education) can do, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that he cannot do - because they said so.
The federal judge has given the following reasons for the dismissal of the lawyer's federal civil rights lawsuit:
1) "failure to state a claim" of violation of his constitutional rights - for federal courts who are themselves licensing lawyers, and, thus, have an irreconcilable conflict of interest in such cases, nothing at all can possibly "state a claim" (a subjective, vague and undefined notion) where a court may violate a lawyer's constitutional rights;
2) under a yet another court-invented (unconstitutional legislating from the bench) bar to a federal civil rights action - the so-called "Younger abstention", telling him - you have an ample opportunity to raise the claims of violations of your federal constitutional rights before people who are violating your federal constitutional rights, the defendant-court-licensor, holder of the presiding federal court judge's law license. No bias, conflict of interest or violation of due process at all;
3) the lawyer is told that the Licensor, as a state court, is immune from lawsuit under the 11th amendment supposedly "barring lawsuits against state agencies. Of course, the 11th Amendment says nothing of the kind.
In fact, by it's clear text it bars only lawsuits by a resident of one state against another state, not against your own state.
But, courts decided that "it is well settled" that the clear text of the 11th Amendment must be changed to mean something different from what its plain text actually means.
Because - otherwise how will a federal judge, holder of a law license from the defendant-state court-licensor of the plaintiff lawyer in a federal civil action gets to protect the federal judge's own licensor?
I was actually sanctioned by a federal judge, the then-Chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Gary L Sharpe (in a lawsuit where his son's employer represented defendant licensor of the judge's own, and of his 2 sons' law licenses), sanctioned $6,995, for daring to quote to the judge the actual text of the 11th Amendment and pointing out its plain meaning.
Note that English is not my native language, but it is native for Judge Sharpe. Yet, I had to explain to a judge and a native speaker of English the plain meaning of the 11th Amendmeng that he has sworn to protect and uphold, as well as the entirety of the US Constitution and its amendments, as a condition of serving as a judge.
Since I kept bringing civil rights lawsuits in federal courts against county and state officials for my clients (that is why the Civil Rights Act was enacted by the US Congress), it was my specialization (one if them, in addition to criminal and family law), I was suspended 4 years ago for 2 years, but without a right for automatic reinstatement on expiration of the 2 years.
Knowing the "procedure for lawyers", or, rather, lack thereof, and knowing that I will have to beg and grovel in front of corrupt people who have broken every law in the book to make sure I do not successfully represent my clients again, I am not trying to restore my law license.
This lawyer's disciplinary journey, judging by the dismissal based on the Younger abstention, has just begun.
When his license is, practically inevitably under the current conditions of the "law", taken by the state court, predictably, without regard of his federal constitutional rights,
1) the US Supreme Court will deny his appeal by 2 words in a letter - " certiorari denied", no explanation, and
2) his new federal lawsuit will be dismissed on the grounds of:
* the Rooker-Feldman doctrine,
* judicial immunity - judges' gift to themselves, absolving themselves from their sworn duty to abide by the law, instead judges unlawfully legislated from the bench and gave themselves immunity for malicious and corrupt acts in office,
* "sovereign immunity" - even though the People, not the government, us the sovereign, but saying that to a court will, most likely inflict upon you sanctions, even though this basis of our democracy is stated - in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and in all state Constitutions;
* 11th Amendment - wrongfully interpreted in a "well-settled" way, * failure to state a claim if constitutional violations.
All of these grounds will be invoked before and without judicial review on the merits, and the lawyer will be denied by the federal judge, licensed by the defendant-state court-licensor in the lawsuit, his federal statutory right to a jury trial for the complete loss if his profession and livelihood. Lawyers know this - and keep mum, no matter what judges do.
In the same Pennsylvsnia where this case was from, lawyers kept mum - for years - when a judge (Marc Ciavarella) presided over cases of minors who appeared in front of him, in violation of state law, without lawyers, even though the local public defense's office was well aware of what was going on, and the judge sent thus unrepresented minors, whether they were guilty or not, to a juvenile jail. In order to fill it to capacity for a private jail manager, for multimillion dollar bribes from that manager.
Lawyers were mum.
Judges were mum.
The court personnel was mum.
Everybody wanted to keep their well-paid jobs and businesses going.
Only after kids started to commit suicides in that kiddie jail, and parents started to push for an investigation, when the scandal could no longer be concealed, was the judge investigated, prosecuted, convicted and went to prison - but only by the feds, the state authorities, lawyers, still were afraid to touch him.
And, even when Judge Ciavarella went to federal prison, his victims were denied relief by a civil court - on the following grounds:
“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.
Remember, this supposed "law" is about a judge who, for years, was systematically and intentionally, was unlawfully sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks, to fill the juvenile jail, so that its private manager would turn a profit.
The court-licensor in this case, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, is also "famous" in 3 more cases:
1/ its judge presided over, denied 4 appeals and said nasty things about persistency of attorneys of a prisoner who the judge has obtained a fabricated wrongful conviction against as a prosecutor which the judge has used to get elected as a judge in the first place, William's v Pennsylvsnia, 2015.
2/ the court has suspended the elected state attorney general Kathleen Kane when she started to investigate misconduct of judges of the court, and
3/ the court has declared that suspended civil rights attorney Andrew Ostrowski who has run for the US Congress (and got 62,228, 1/3 of votes, reportedly, without any meaningful financial support) in 2014 on an anti-judicial-corruption platform may not "practice law" representing clients in front of an administrative unemployment benefits state board, even though the applicable statute allow non-lawyer representatives in front of that same board, and the statute specifically declares that such a representation is not "the practice of law", which is not clearly defined by statute in the state anyway.
The court has then dangled in front of attorney Ostrowski, stripped of all - even lawful - means to earn a living an offer the attorney could not refuse under the circumstances:
- stop your successful anti-judicial-corruption radio show "Justice Served with Andy Ostrowski",
- delete the library of recorded interviews from attorneys from across the US who have been suspended or disbarred for criticizing judicial corruption,
- keep mum for a while as to any civil rights violations within the court system, the disciplinary system and the so-called legal profession - and we will return to you your law license and livelihood.
When Ostrowsky caved in and did what was required of him by the "noble" court, the court (predictably) refused to restore his law license, which has sent Ostrowski into a mental breakdown, eviction and a criminal conviction.
The lawyer in this case knows all of that and knows, what kind of "justice" he is facing with this particular licensor-court, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.
As does the federal judge who has, nevertheless, sent the lawyer back to that court with a callous statement that the lawyer will have "ample opportunities" to go knock himself out beating his head against a brick wall trying to persuade a corrupt body that is deeming itself completely above the law (and it is) that it is violating his federal constitutional rights, which they know they are doing, and doing intentionally.
Now - ARE you surprised that you, dear Americans, cannot find an independent civil rights, family, criminal defense attorney to represent you in court?
Why they are afraid to state what they know is going on in front of them?
Why there is no independence of the "noble" legal profession in the United States?
We have a presidential and state elections campaigns raging across the U.S. at this time.
All candidates are making promises, and all candidates are clamoring for your votes and your money.
Just ASK them instead, some questions pertinent to your own access to justice.
Just DEMAND that they make it their CAMPAIGN PLATFORM:
- to eradicate judicial corruption;
- allow people to choose their own representatives in court, consultants and title document drafters without government approval;
- allow people's direct access to grand juries;
- make grand jury records public;
- remove prosecutors from their conflicted position of legal advisors of the grand juries;
- legislatively abolish all kinds of judicially created immunities and restrictions on jurisdiction of federal courts in civil rights actions;
- legislatively prohibit court sanctions for invoking violations of constituitonal rights.