"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, July 24, 2014

A female law professor who teaches how to sue the government for constitutional wrongs should not be protected from sexist comments of male attorneys?

It was reported that a law professor's complaint to disciplinary authorities about allegedly sexist comments on her blog made under a nickname by an attorney was rejected and the investigation against the attorney closed.

The "criticism" that Professor Leong found offensive (and wouldn't you?) was as follows:

“I think she has the right age, gender, credentials, and eager-to-please attitude for an ‘odd job’ I have in mind . . . Basically it involves the girl dressing up as a law professor, bending over, and trying to ask me questions about International Shoe while I spank her with a wet slipper.”

The "critic" also made the following comment about Professor Leong's arguments regarding the so-called concept of "racial capitalism" that she was making:  “Now that is what I call a gravy train or, shall I say, a luau train.  Law professors enjoying a free Hawaii vacation at some seaside hotel.  All they have to do is attend some ‘annual meeting’ of some ‘society’ where they pretend to listen to Leong yap about ‘pragmatic approach[es] of reactive commodification,’ while undressing her with their eyes.”

Both comments were made under a nickname.

Women in this country were taught for an eternity to keep their mouths shut and feel honored when males appreciate their beauty, even when women find such comments extremely offensive and demeaning to them as professionals.

Yet, to me as a female attorney and a professional, the comments above appear portraying Professor Leong as less of a professor and more of a porn star.  In other words, it may be perceived as defamation per se.  And in this case, Professor Leong had every right in the world to investigate the identity of the person who has made the comment and pursue him.

Defamation of professional character is not protected by the 1st Amendment.  People who make online comments about professionalism do run a risk of a defamation lawsuit.

What is worse is that Professor Leong found out that the person who has posted these comments is a public official, a public defender.

Public defenders all over the country are claiming of being overwhelmed with caseloads and having no time for anything.  This public defender, on the contrary, has plenty of time on his hands to make wet-dreams comments about Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law and Constitutional litigation professor who happens to be a young pretty female.

When a public official is advertising his wet sexual fantasies about a female law professor online, and is insinuating, as read by an objective observer, that her work is substandard and the attraction to her lectures is the location where they are given and her physical appearance over which male attendees salivate, this is completely beyond the pale and, in my opinion, must be addressed by attorney discipline.

Moreover, I have no doubt that the complaint would have been granted if the complainant was a judge, so there is no cause for celebration here.

Attorneys are suspended and disbarred throughout this country for criticism of judges, even for criticism in private emails. 

But - Professor Leong is (1) an Asian;  (2) a woman; (3) teaches students how to sue the government for civil rights violations and (4) is not a judge, therefore, her complaint was dismissed. 

Therefore, she is expendable in the eyes of the disciplinary committee. 

I wonder if she can still sue for defamation.

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