"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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Collateral estoppel as the method to eliminate civil rights attorneys in New York

New York is a unique state.

It is one of the miniscule minority of cases which still gives its attorneys the least protection in disciplinary proceedings - disciplinary authorities only have to prove their case "by preponderance of the evidence".


Because courts want to clear their dockets, in other words, to do less, and do not want to confess that clearing their dockets is the true reason behind depriving attorneys of hearings in disciplinary proceedings.

How it works.

A civil court makes a decision that an attorney allegedly did something wrong. The decision is made
"by preponderance of the evidence".

If to discipline an attorney, a higher standard of proof is required (as in other states), then an attorney is entitled to a hearing.

Not in New York.

In New York the disciplinary court can simply rubber-stamp, without any further hearings, that if the lower court decided this way - right or wrong - the attorney must be disciplined.

But - wait a minute - attorney discipline exists to protect the public from attorney misconduct, isn't it correct?

And, if the lower court's decision is wrong, there is nothing to protect the public from, isn't it correct?

And, there is a dire shortage of attorneys who are willing to take cases for the poor, underprivileged and unpopular clients, as well as unpopular causes, isn't it correct?

And, attorney disciplinary bodies predominantly target solo attorneys engaged in protection of civil rights, isn't it correct?

So - when disciplinary courts deny civil rights attorneys a hearing before taking their licenses, reputations and livelihoods, they do not care whether attorneys did, in fact, commit any wrongs, and whether the public, indeed, needs protection, isn't it correct?

So, all these statements about attorney licensing and attorney discipline protecting the public is a lie to appease the public and conceal the true picture that courts are actually specifically depriving the public of their best chance of representation by suspending and disbarring, without hearings, civil rights attorneys, on pretextual grounds, isn't it correct?

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