"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.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chief Judge Sharpe of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York dismisses a civil rights case without reaching the merits - but with a lot of disrespect to the plaintiff

I continue to analyze the amazing decision of Judge Gary L. Sharpe dismissing my husband's civil rights lawsuits, made 3 weeks after I sued Gary L. Sharpe in his individual capacity.

Here are a couple more of amazing snippets from the decision.

This is how the lawsuit - and the decision - are introduced by Judge Sharpe.  In the "background" section Judge Sharpe does several diametrically opposite and mutually exclusive things.

(1) In footnote 3 Judge Sharpe states that "the facts are drawn from Neroni's complaint and presented in the light most favorable to him".

(2) Then, Judge Sharpe characterizes those facts, allegedly in the "most favorable light", yet, using the following derogatory language:

  • "yet another chapter in a barrage of lawsuits filed by Neroni, a disbarred and disgruntled former attorney";
  • "his lengthy and disjointed complaint";
  • "names as defendants a host of judges, court officials, private attorneys, and private law firms";
  • "weaves a tangled web of judicial corruption, political favoritism, and professional improprieties, resulting in a range of - barely decipherable - constitutional transgressions"
This spectacular paragraph deserves special attention and analysis, for the benefit of the public who does not know what is happening behind the doors of civil rights litigation, as well as for the benefit of attorneys and future litigants who are going to face (1) Judge Sharpe,  (2) civil rights litigation in federal court in general.

First of all, if the above language is presenting Mr. Neroni's complaints in "the most favorable light", I won't dare to ask what would be presenting Mr. Neroni's facts in an unfavorable light. 

It appears that Judge Sharpe pays lip service to the law requiring review of plaintiff's facts on a motion to dismiss in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, but his attitude and the language of presentation of those facts speak louder than his declaration of intention.

Yet another chapter in a barrage of lawsuits by a disbarred and disgruntled attorney

To me, as a professional linguist with a Masters degree in teaching the English language, this phrase tells a story of bias and derogatory attitude to Mr. Neroni.

The inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the language in the phrase are that (1) Mr. Neroni was rightfully disbarred;  (2) is upset about losing his disciplinary proceedings and (3) is lashing out at anybody in sight because of his disbarment. 

How correct and proper Mr. Neroni's disbarment was, and whether Mr. Neroni is legitimately upset about how it was brought about, you can judge after reading this material.

Moreover, since Mr. Neroni's disbarment is mentioned, it appears that the language (1) must bear some relevance to all lawsuits referenced by Judge Sharpe in his footnote to the "Background" section and (2) that all those lawsuits were dismissed on the merits, so the court has a right to make credibility disrespectful credibility determinations about the "barrage" of lawsuits and "indecipherable" tales of "a tangled web of juridical corruption" etc.'

In his footnote 3 to the "Background" section  Judge Sharpe references four lawsuits brought by Mr. Neroni as a "disbarred and disgruntled former attorney":

  1. Neroni v Zayas - the implication is that the case was improperly filed and dismissed - yet, the case proceeds on the merits, and the partial dismissal was without reaching the merits and is on appeal;
  2. Neroni v. Grannis - is about Mr. Neroni digging a pond in 2001, 10 years before his disbarmenton his property in the town of Hamden, about New York State Department of Environmental Conservation not having a readable map that could give Mr. Neroni notice he could not dig a pond where he did dig a pond (see map below which is a map of Walton area that DEC presented to me only after the decision on liability against Mr. Neroni, and without my participation as a co-owner, was made, and where no reasonable person can find or tie any address, which DEC actually admitted on record);
  3. Bracci v. Becker is a case about sanctions imposed upon Mr. Neroni by a disgruntled judge, Judge Carl F. Becker of Delaware County Supreme Court, in retaliation for Mr. Neroni's lawsuit against Judge Becker for misconduct.  Bracci v. Becker covered Judge Becker's sanctions in Neroni v. Grannis.  Bracci v. Becker was dismissed without reaching the merits, and the 2nd Circuit affirmed the dismissal after I sued the judges of the Northern District of New York Court and while providing a sloppy and meaningless second rate review of four pro se appeals in that case;
  4. Neroni v. Becker - Mr. Neroni sought a declaratory judgment that when the New York State Court of Appeals allowed damages for "attempted fraud upon the court", after the partial summary judgment on liability was granted against Mr. Neroni and before the appeal from that summary judgment was heard, the New York State Court of Appeals "changed horses" on Mr. Neroni mid-stream, abolished the civil part of the Judiciary Law 487 under which liability of Mr. Neroni was found and upon which disbarment without a hearing was based before the underlying case was finally resolved (it is not resolved until now)
The Mokay case, which is still pending and due to which Mr. Neroni lost his license without a hearing after 37 years of practice is a separate saga.   

I am preparing a separate book, based on documentary evidence, as to how every applicable law in the Mokay case was bent or broken in order to decide for the plaintiffs' conflicted attorneys and to deliver to them money damages out of my husband's pockets. 

The plaintiffs' attorneys in the Mokay case were from the beginning the retired judge Robert Harlem (deceased since 2012) and his son Richard Harlem (alive and still on the case).

Robert Harlem and Richard Harlem were caught for misconduct in, "coincidentally", an Estate matter in 2000.

Robert Harlem practiced law and drafted a will while being a sitting Supreme Court justice, in violation of the New York State Constitution, and involved in the signing of the will and additions to the will his law clerk, his confidential secretary (later his wife) and his son Richard Harlem.

Then, Richard Harlem submitted the will to the Surrogate's Court with a backer showing his name and not his father's name, which the New York State Attorney General saw as a sign to conceal from the court the fact that the will was illegally drafted by a sitting Supreme Court justice.

Robert Harlem then quickly retired from the bench before his term was up in anticipation of the bounty from the will where he bequeathed to himself several thousand shares of stock of the IMB Corporation, designated himself as the 3rd Executor charging fees to the Estate and bequeathed the residue of the 9 mln dollar estate to the trust where he was a salaried trustee.

Such self-dealing was a no-no for an attorney even if Robert Harlem had a right to practice law, but, at the time he drafted the will and codicils/additions to the will, he was a sitting Supreme Court justice and was absolutely prohibited by the New York State Constitution to practice law.

Robert Harlem, according to the New York State Attorney General's office, resisted disclosure that he was the author of the will and codicils for a year.

Then, Robert Harlem claimed that even though he drafted the will and codicils, there was nothing wrong in doing so, even though he did that while being a sitting judge, because the decedent was his friend.

The NYS AG turned Robert Harlem and Richard Harlem into the Professional Conduct Committee for their shenanigans.  The case that obviously warranted disbarment of both attorneys, died there.

Then, Mr. Neroni turned attorneys Robert Harlem and Richard Harlem into the Professional Conduct Committee in 2006 due to their outrageously conflicted representation in the Mokay case where they represented party plaintiffs and a de facto party defendant which the NYS Appellate Division 3rd Department acknowledged.

 I turned Robert Harlem and Richard Harlem in 2011 when I discovered not only the full record of the Blanding case from the Otsego County Supreme Court, but also that Robert Harlem and Richard Harlem concealed from the Supreme Court what was going on in the Delaware County Surrogate's Court which was contrary to their claims in the Supreme Court.

Since the member of the Committee John Casey appeared to use the Committee for picking influential clients or members of his firm, the Harlems were saved, John Casey's law firm, instead of disbarring them for their shenanigans in the Estate of Blanding (Otsego County), embraced them as paying clients, and instead the complainants against them, Mr. Neroni and I, were prosecuted, and Mr. Neroni was disbarred.

It is apparent that courts refuse to apply the applicable laws which favor Mr. Neroni and instead invent laws that disfavors Mr. Neroni and favors his politically connected opponents.

Therefore, Mr. Neroni, an attorney who has faithfully provided zealous representation to public in an under-served poor area, and practically had for years an ongoing free legal clinic in his home where anybody could come or call for legal advice at any time of day and night, has every right to be upset, and "the web of judicial corruption" is a reality in New York courtrooms.

While obviously mocking Mr. Neroni's attempt to untangle the truly existing web of judicial corruption in New York courtrooms, while at the same time  hypocritically claiming that he reviewed Mr. Neroni's facts in the "light most favorable" to Mr. Neroni, Judge Sharpe did not reach the merits of Mr. Neroni's case, and thus has no right to make credibility determinations, because that is the function of a factfinder, and Mr. Neroni asked at the outset of the litigation for a jury trial.   

Judge Sharpe has two options - dismiss without reaching the merits, but then not reach the merits of the case he so dismissed for any reasons or purposes, or allow the case to proceed to discovery and trial and let the jury to decide issues of merits, as Mr. Neroni demanded and has a right to.

Judge Sharpe chose the third, unlawful way, he both dismissed the case without reaching the merits and made disparaging remarks about credibility of Mr. Neroni or substantive validity of his claims.

So much for the rule of law in Judge Sharpe's understanding.

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