"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, June 24, 2014

URGENT: I am seeking help from law professors, lawyers and civil rights organizations in the form of amicus curiae briefs in support of my planned petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attorney free speech case

I have written in this blog at length about the rising problem in this country of the legal profession losing its independence to advocate for their clients in the courtroom because the licensing and livelihood of that same legal profession lies with the judiciary, the same judiciary that the attorneys may be forced by their duty to their clients to criticize.

The issue of attorney right to criticize the judiciary and be free from punishment for that criticism has been raised in multiple law reviews.

Yet, no case recently has reached the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue, although there are enough cases in the court below where attorneys are in fact punished for their criticism of judges, including rightful criticism.

At this time, I have a case that was dismissed on the level of the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, the appellate dismissal was without even a full review, by a summary "no publication" order.

I've never practiced in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The issue of sanctions against an attorney by a judge in retaliation for the attorney's criticism against the judge and, in my case, a lawsuit against the judge in state court, may set the precedent on this issue for the whole country and may help both the legal profession and the public - if it gets before the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I appeal to my colleagues in the entire U.S., professors of law and non-profit civic organizations like ACLU and others who would want to support this issue.

What I would greatly appreciate would be amicus briefs for the case Bracci v. Becker out of the 2nd Circuit. 

I will send the case file promptly to attorneys, law professors or civic law organizations who would express an interest in filing an amicus brief in my support.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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