"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.

Friday, June 13, 2014

You wouldn't want a negligent surgeon to operate on your heart - why would you like a negligent judge to decide your fate?

I bet each and every attorney, at least once during his or her practice, came across judicial decisions that indicated to the reader that the judge is:

(1)  incompetent;
(2)  stupid;
(3)  biased;
(4)  is out to get you or your client;
(5) did not read the record at all and/or
(6) all of the above.

Now, a judge wields tremendous power, possibly, the most power of a governmental official.

Yes, I understand that to declare wars on nations and to pass legislation is also tremendous power.

Yet, there is no immediate feedback for legislators or executive officers, such as a judge has.

Judge enters - everybody stands up.

Judge opens his mouth, even to say something exceedingly stupid - everybody smiles and tries to make the judge understand how they liked his pearl of wisdom.

Judge humiliates a litigant in front of him - the litigant must swallow the abuse, for fear of being punished for contempt of court.

Judge writes something exceedingly stupid in a court decision, which is completely against all applicable law - why, there is a right to appeal (in some cases), so "take it up".  With the concomitant costs of the transcript, the record, the filing fees and - for those who do not represent themselves - legal fees.  Even though 95% of criminal appeals and, probably, 85% of civil appeals are affirmed by similarly sloppy judges who (possibly) do not even read your record, their law students/ interns do, and their clerks rubber-stamp the decision. 

And that's what is commonly called "due process of law" and "access to court".

Yet, let me ask you a question.

If you are about to go under the knife and undergo a surgery - wouldn't you want your surgeon not to be negligent.

When a public servant (judges are public servants, you know, which fact they forget, instead having a "sovereign/King/Deity" complex) decides your fate - be it your regarding your property, your liberty, your divorce or custody of your children, wouldn't you want such a person to be equally diligent as a surgeon performing a surgery on you or your loved one?

Why does society does nothing EFFECTIVE to weed out charlatans and bullies in black robes?

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