"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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You shall not impeach a son of a judge - even if he is obviously lying to the court...

On June 23, 2014 there was a hearing in the Mokay saga case.  The hearing was on legal fees for making a motion to vacate retaliatory sanctions of Judge Becker imposed upon me and my husband after we sued the judge based on misconduct of Judge Becker that so far escaped judicial review on the merits.

The motion was found frivolous by Judge Dowd, who selectively recused from a related action, but not from the Mokay saga one.  That is, of course, a separate ground for disqualification of Judge Dowd, because if a judge recused from one case where Mr. Neroni is a party, he cannot preside over a related case where Mr. Neroni is also a party.  

At the same time, Judge Dowd is still a defendant in a federal action, dismissal of which is currently appealed, and where my husband sued him to enjoin (block) him from presiding over my husband's cases due to appearance of a mental instability, specifically for claiming during a child visitation proceeding/divorce action that a law school allegedly built a urinal in Judge Dowd's honor.

During the hearing on legal fees for allegedly making a frivolous motion to vacate, Attorney Richard Harlem, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Robert Harlem, who also was, in his time, the Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District (and Richard Harlem reminds every court of his late father's status as a judge by placing it on his letterhead), Richard Harlem answered two questions that I asked on cross-examination.

And, as I believe, answered them falsely.

But - since I do not believe Richard Harlem will ever be investigated, prosecuted or sanctioned for his wrongdoing due to his political connections, I believe that the remaining way to deal with his obvious misconduct is to make it public.

I believe that Attorney Harlem did make two false statements in court on material issues, and that it can be proven through documentary evidence which I present here.   

Moreover, in his previous decision Judge Dowd expressed his personal view that it was allegedly inappropriate for Mr. Neroni to even question, through me as his attorney, veracity of statements of attorney Harlem, simply because attorney Harlem is "an officer of the court".   

Apparently, Judge Dowd held such a view even if the attorney is the main witness in the case and has a personal interest in the outcome of litigation where all claimed damages are his legal fees.

Now, if attorneys, and thus, officers of the court, in Judge Dowd's view, do not lie, then why a criminal article, Judiciary Law 487, even exists in New York?

Judge Dowd's personal opinion about attorneys being unable to lie, and specifically about Richard Harlem being unable to lie led Judge Dowd to do the following:

1) Judge Dowd refused to see that Richard Harlem lied to the court during the hearing on June 23, 2014 even though Judge Dowd took judicial notice of a case which provided evidence that Richard Harlem lied to the court;

2) Judge Dowd refused me a right to impeach Richard Harlem, by documentary evidence or my own testimony as an expert witness and told me that I am somehow "bound" by Richard Harlem's answer;

3)  Judge Dowd found it "mind-boggling" that I even went into a hearing and did not settle - and for that Judge Dowd added attorney's fees for the hearing, the very hearing where Richard Harlem lied to the court.

In other words - Richard Harlem was compensated by Judge Dowd, out of my client's and my family's pocket (my client is my husband) - in the amount of $750.00 that my husband has to pay Richard Harlem for lying to the court. 

That is how I understand what has happened.

Now to the facts and documents.

On June 23, 2014, in a court proceeding where Attorney Harlem was the main witness claiming his own legal fees, I asked Attorney Harlem two simple questions:

Question No. 1:  is there a common billing practice among lawyers to absorb costs of copying and postage?

Harlem said "no".

New York State Attorney General, in its "objection to account" contesting Richard Harlem's legal fees back in 2000 said " yes", and said that Richard Harlem inappropriately charged:

My Question No. 2 was - was Richard Harlem ever investigated by the New York State Attorney General for inflating legal fees.

He answered that he wasn't so investigated.

This is the Objections to account by New York State Attorney General showing that not only Richard Harlem and his father, Robert Harlem, were investigated for inflating legal fees, but the New York State Attorney General made such an argument in court, and Richard Harlem cannot claim he did not know about that:

So - it appears that Richard Harlem lied to the court as to whether 

(1) there is a common practice of not including postage and copying into legal fees; and

(2) whether he was investigated by the New York State Attorney General for inflating legal fees.

Yet, for Judge Dowd - who took judicial notice of the Blanding case during the hearing - it appeared to be irrelevant that Richard Harlem lied to the court.

Moreover, Judge Dowd told me that I am bound by Richard Harlem's word and am not allowed to impeach him - contrary to what New York State law says.

Now, this is a judge who is going to preside over a jury trial where issues of fact and mixed issues of law and fact, precisely about propriety of Richard Harlem's legal fees as damages is going to be tried.

Judge Dowd delayed the jury trial without a date, on request from Richard Harlem, delayed it twice, in November of 2013 and in May of 2014, and now delayed it without a date - in a case where proceedings are pending since 2007.

Judge Dowd was sued by my husband to get him off the case for talking about urinals built in his honor during child visitation proceedings - which to any reasonable objective observer would be a sign of mental instability of a judge that should result in removal of that judge from the bench.

My husband did not want such a judge, whose actions give appearance of mental instability, to preside over his case.

Judge Dowd sanctioned my husband for allegedly frivolous conduct after that action was filed by my husband.  Sanctions of Judge Dowd have all the signs of retaliation for embarrassing him through the federal lawsuit.  I did not represent Mr. Neroni in his federal lawsuit, but I was sanctioned by Judge Dowd anyway, along with Mr. Neroni.

And, at the hearing, Judge Dowd has proven just what my husband was trying to prove through his federal lawsuit - that he does not know or does not care about the law, that he decides cases on a whim, that he assigns veracity of witnesses upon people's social and political status (as he did with Richard Harlem), and that he makes me bound by Richard Harlem's word as a witness, even though in New York a witness is impeachable by either his own statements or by testimony of other witnesses and by documentary evidence which is contrary to the testimony of the witness, irregardless of the witness's political or social status.

Moreover, this is a judge who told my husband and I that we can only make motions upon an Order to Show Cause - which in layman terms means that we need to prepare the motion, pay the motion fees, but there is no guarantee that Judge Dowd will agree to hear the motion.

In other words, even though based on Judge Dowd's behavior at the hearing, a new motion to recuse and disqualify is clearly in order - I have no assurance that such a motion, if prepared, filed and filing fee paid - will ever be heard by the very judge whose misconduct I will be addressing in such a motion - and who holds in his hands the claimed right to punish me for making such a motion on behalf of my client.

As Judge Dowd said in that same hearing - it is mind-boggling, mind-boggling...

It is mind-boggling that Judge Dowd is still on the bench.

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