"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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Judge threatens attorney - revisited

Recently I described an episode as to how a judge of Ulster County Supreme Court Christopher Cahill called an opposing counsel on a case where I represented a party, into his chambers and held there an ex parte conference with her, while his employee blocked me from entering the chambers where the ex parte communication was taking place for a prolonged period of time, and how Judge Cahill threatened me with a complaint to the Professional Conduct Committee when I confronted him after that ex parte communication.

I was recently notified by the New York State Court Administration in response to my FOIL request that the security file from that date was "recycled", in other words, destroyed.  That was despite my timely requests to the NYS OCA through FOIL requests and despite my complaint to the Judicial Conduct Commission specifically pointing out that such a security tape exists and will show evidence of the ex parte communication.

Previously, NYS OCA claimed to me in answer to a similar FOIL request pertaining to another courthouse, that the retention time for such files is 30 days.  I made my FOIL request in much less than that time, asked the Judicial Conduct Commission to obtain that file, too, and the evidence was still destroyed.   Isn't it obstruction of the fair administration of justice? Shouldn't an investigation be in order as to who exactly was instrumental in having the tape destroyed?  Isn't an inquiry in order whether Judge Cahill as one of the court administrators of that particular court building was involved in destruction of evidence implicating him in judicial misconduct?

This is not the first time destruction of such evidence is happening under different pretenses, and it appears to be the policy of the NYS OCA to destroy evidence of judicial misconduct caught on video.

NYS OCA must realize that destroying evidence of judicial misconduct does not enhance public trust in the integrity of the judiciary.

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