"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, August 8, 2014

"Judge threatens attorney" revisited: attorney Delice Seligman admits to ex parte communication with Judge Cahill under oath - and claims that for an attorney to raise the issue of Judge Cahill's misconduct because of the ex parte communication and to ask him to recuse was wrong

On March 26, 2014 I have written in this blog that:

  1. Judge Christopher Cahill of the Ulster County Supreme Court, New York, engaged in an ex parte communication in a civil case with my opponent, attorney who is calling herself in court papers Delice Seligman (her name as per attorney registration is Dolores Felice Seligman, of Kingston, NY),
  2. that the judge gave instructions to his personnel to block me from entry into his chambers where the ex parte communication with Delice Seligman was occurring, and I was so blocked,
  3. that the judge asked Delice Seligman to ask me for a separate ex parte conference with the judge after her own ex parte conference concluded,
  4. that I refused to engage in such an ex parte conference and asked the judge to recuse, and
  5. that the judge recused, but loudly claimed that I was "out of line" and loudly and publicly threatened to turn me into professional conduct committee.

I have in my possession an Affirmation by Attorney Seligman who admitted under oath that:

(1) she did engage in an ex parte conference with Judge Cahill;
(2) that such a conference was "routine";
(3) that judge requested her to invite me to a separate ex parte conference after her own ex parte conference concluded.

So, what Judge Cahill and the New York State court administration was carefully trying to hide by destroying the tapes that recorded what occurred on the floor where Judge Cahill's chambers are located, Attorney Seligman admitted under oath.

Thank you, Attorney Seligman.  You have made my task of exposing your own and judge Cahill's misconduct so much easier.

As to the "conference" that Judge Cahill allegedly conducted with Ms. Seligman that day, actually, as I have written in this blog before, Judge Cahill had no right to hold any conferences in the case where a final judgment (by default) was entered by Judge Cahill - with gross errors and with no evidence that the action was ever served upon my client.

Only my motions to vacate that final judgment were pending, and under the circumstances, I asked for an oral argument in open court on record - and instead Judge Cahill held a "settlement conference", which included an ex parte communication with Attorney Seligman.

Even if, by a stretch of imagination, to call a conference was proper at that time, judges are not allowed to talk to attorneys in turns, for whatever allegedly benign reasons they are doing it - because there is no way to make sure whether the content of communication with one attorney without the presence of the opposing attorney was benign or whether the judge was simply agreeing with one attorney how to fix the case against the other party and attorney.

The strict prohibition against ex parte communications between judges and parties or counsel representing parties in litigation exists for a reason, and Judge Cahill had no authority to cancel that rule for his own benefit.

In view of Ms. Seligman's admissions under oath it is clear that my conduct in:

(1) trying to get access to the judge's chambers at the time when he was conducting an ex parte conference within with Attorney Seligman;
(2) protesting to the judge's secretary that an ex parte communication was going on and insisting on entry;
(3) refusing to engage in my own ex parte communication with the judge when he allowed Ms. Seligman to leave and directed her to call me in for a one on one conference with the judge;
(4) asking the judge to step down in view of his obvious misconduct, ex parte communication with an attorney to the exclusion of the opposing counsel, over that counsel's objection

were undoubtedly proper and serving my client's best interests.

As any attorney dealing with judicial misconduct would understand, to openly stand up to a judge who is openly and adamantly committing misconduct in front of you requires some courage.

Ms. Seligman believes that, in fact, in this situation I was in the wrong and I should be punished for "causing" Judge Cahill to recuse.

This point of view is disturbing, shows that Ms. Seligman is unfit to practice law - and, as a larger issue of public concern - shows that attorneys' fear of the judiciary involved in misconduct has become so deeply ingrained that any attorney who does not demonstrate such fear and who is, in fact, doing her job to properly protect her client from such misconduct - is considered by the legal profession to be "out of line".

Well, if I was "out of line" protecting my client from obvious judicial misconduct, and that is the routine belief ingrained in the profession - reforms in that profession and how it is regulated are long overdue.

In this case, notwithstanding the admissions, Attorney Seligman claimed that I should be sanctioned for causing Judge Cahill's recusal.

Thus, Attorney Seligman remains in denial that what she did was wrong.

Attorney Seligman inadvertently demonstrated exactly what is wrong with having attorney licenses controlled by the judiciary.

This control has attorneys in such a grip of fear that it becomes ingrained into seasoned attorneys (and Delice Seligman has been practicing law for decades) that WHATEVER the judge asks them to do - they must do it, no matter how illegal that is.

Delice Seligman takes that ingrained fear to a new level by actually claiming that an attorney who raised that issue and asked the judge to recuse was wrong and should be sanctioned for allegedly causing the recusal of Judge Cahill.

Thus, attorney Seligman remains in denial that what to engage in an ex parte communication with a judge is wrong.  Attorney Seligman admitted under oath to facts that are qualified as attorney misconduct and judicial misconduct, but is in denial that she indeed committed misconduct.  Attorney Seligman continues to blame others, specifically myself, for "causing" Judge Cahill to recuse, in fact, for "terrorizing" him into recusal.

Moreover, Attorney Seligman concocted a story for the court claiming that I somehow knew what was going to happen and made my "Judge threatens attorney" post before the conference between her and Judge Cahill even occurred and that I posted the blog "Judge threatens attorney" of March 26, 2014 at 9:46 am New York time, which was before the time of her ex parte communications.

For purposes of this misrepresentation, Attorney Seligman conveniently omitted to mention to the court that, while I am posting from New York state, the blog's server is located in California and that the postings are registered by the Pacific time, 3 hours behind New York state. 

As I am updating this post, what I see on the right hand of my screen is an announcement by Google "Published on 8/8/14 2:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time".  As I am writing this, my computer shows  5:39 pm New York (Eastern Atlantic) time which is 3 hours ahead.  I published this blog not 3 hours and 24 minutes ago, but 24 minutes ago.

Thus, the post "Judge threatened attorney" of March 26, 2014 was posted not at 9:46 am New York time, as Delice Seligman claimed to the court, accusing me of "predicting" or "provoking" what occurred in judicial chambers, but at 12:46 pm New York time (9:46 am Pacific time), well after the ex parte conference between Ms. Seligman and Judge Cahill that I describe in detail in my initial blog on this issue, and after I came back to my office, an approximately 1 hour 45 minute' drive from Kingston NY where the motion hearing was supposed to take place and instead the ex parte conference between Ms. Seligman and Judge Cahill took place, to Delhi NY where my office is located.

Information as to where the blog server is located is available in the terms and conditions for, which are located here in open access to the public. 

Yet, it was too much to ask for Attorney Seligman to actually do her due diligence and abstain from making false statements to the court to whitewash her own misconduct and judge Cahill's misconduct. 

For Attorney Seligman obviously the best defense is a good offense - no matter how frivolous such an offense is and no matter whether it involves making false statements to the court against her opponent who has caught her (and the judge) in misconduct.

The bottom line remains:  attorney Delice Seligman has made an admission under oath that she did engage in an ex parte conference with Judge Cahill on March 26, 2014. 

After her admissions, it is the turn of the Judicial Conduct Commission - as to Judge Cahill, and of the Grievance Committee - as to Attorney Seligman - to dispense discipline.

Stay tuned as to whether these two individuals will ever be sanctioned for their misconduct or will they be whitewashed by the system, as it usually happened with the politically connected attorneys, and especially with judges in the state of New York.

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