"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, August 14, 2014

Is forced respect to the government part of an attorney's duty?

Multiple times, in civil and criminal proceedings, when I am simply trying to make the record for my client and preserve my arguments in the face of clear bias of a judge, I was told that I was "out of line" by the very judge whom I was challenging.

Thus, the judge is trying to prevent me from making the record and preserving the arguments pertaining to his or her misconduct, bias or appearance thereof, to help my client at the appellate level, should an appeal become necessary.
The law operates in such a way that if I do not preserve my argument on record, then my client won't be able to raise it on appeal.

Yet, if I do try to preserve it, I am somehow "out of line" which is a direct threat that sanctions will follow if I do not stop doing what I am doing - doing my duty for my client.

Is the above described scenario the type of behavior deserving anybody's respect?

Of course not.

When a judge uses his or her power to retaliate against an attorney, directly or through his family members or clients, for attorney's criticism of investigation of the judge's misconduct or concealed conflicts of interest, is it the type of behavior deserving anybody's respect?

Of course, not.

But, both types of behaviors happen in our courts every day and there is no statistics of how wide spread the problem is, because people are afraid to come forward and create such statistics.

Even journalists are largely ignoring the problems of dishonorable behavior of judges.  Judges have good connections in the government, and any journalist who speaks out against them may find himself on the receiving end of judicial wrath, and in such a way that he or she will not be able to prove that his criticism and the court order ruling against him were connected in any way.

I also heard many times from the pulpits of many courts that an attorney must not only respect the courts, but instill that respect into their clients.

And here is where I must take a pause.

It is my firm belief that NOBODY, EVER can REQUIRE me to respect anybody, including the government.  Respect is a personal feeling toward an individual and institution and it must be EARNED.

Also, the interesting detail is - nobody requires you (at least as yet) to respect the police instead of showing them the door if they come to your house without a warrant and want to enter.

Nobody requires you to respect the president, or even the American flag.  The U.S. Supreme Court protected as constitutional activity (1) burning of the American flag before the White House;  (2) casting insults at a funeral of a fallen soldier.

There is no requirement that you must absolutely respect a particular Senator, or the Legislature as a whole.

But the courts, which control reputation and livelihood of attorneys through licensing, require that attorneys respect them and instill that respect into their client and the general public - whether that respect is warranted or not.

Any individual or institution deserve respect as a benefit of the doubt.

Yet, if an individual or institution does something that destroys that presumption of respect, the respect is gone and must be earned back.  That individual or institution cannot simply put a knife to your throat and tell you - respect me NOW, or you will starve.  That's essentially what courts are doing to attorneys.

I would say, as I said here before, a branch of the government which self-servingly creates for itself absolute immunity for its own malicious and corrupt acts in office in clear violation of its officers' oaths of office, and who continuously and viciously persecutes its critics by stripping them of their livelihood is not deserving of presumed respect and is not doing much to earn it.

And - when I was sworn in as an "officer of the court", my only duty as I was told was to uphold the Constitutions and the laws of New  York State and the United States. 

Also, being part of the sovereign ("We the People"), I do not owe respect to delinquent servants. 

That said, I treat each and every judge whom I do not yet know with respect - and give them a benefit of the doubt.

That said, my feelings as to the judges who, in my opinion, do not deserve respect, are my feelings and nobody's business, even though some attorneys and judges try to have me sanctions for my criticism of the system which bestows upon itself the self-indulgency of absolute immunity for malicious and corrupt acts.

If you detract from the formula the word "judge" or "judicial system", any system that abuses its power to forgive to itself its own corruption and who blocks any possibility of an effective remedy to the victims of its malicious and corrupt conduct - does not have a right to exist and must be immediately reformed.

When we add the words "judges" and the "judicial system", the sheer power that this branch wields over every one of us, makes people fear for their own livelihood and close their eyes upon what is going on - that is, until disaster strikes at themselves or their loved ones.

For how long will we be reigned by fear?

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