"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, October 31, 2014

When a referee and a prosecutor cannot read...

On October 23, 2014, as I wrote on this blog before, I appeared in front of a referee in my disciplinary case, a very old man who appeared to have problem with either concentration, or retention of information, or memory, or all of the above.

We talked for some time off record, then the referee recalled that he has to say what he was saying on record, and he put on record, not exactly what he said off record, but here is the transcript: 

That was the sum and substance of why I was dragged to Syracuse on a 6-hour roundtrip, so that Referee Sirkin would say this to me, obviously he could not say that in an adjournment letter.

I draw your specific attention to what he said he will do next time we meet.

Referee Sirkin clearly said, on record that he will "have [his] decision on the grievance committee's motion and respondent's cross-motion and depending on how [he] rule[s] will depend on future proceedings, whether there be no future proceedings, or a hearing, or a mitigation hearing, if requested".

In fact, a referee in a disciplinary proceeding does not have any authority to decide motions and cross-motions, to rule on liability and to decide whether further hearings are or are not going to be held.

Here are two statements of Mary Gasparini, which are diametrically opposite to one another, and made within the SAME sworn affirmation:

That's a correct statement of the law.  That statement was in the order appointing Referee Sirkin.  Obviously, Referee Sirkin has a problem with reading and perceiving the law and orders of courts, due to his age, arrogance, or desire to retaliate against me for making a motion to disqualify him on statutory grounds and for cause.

The only authority of a referee in a disciplinary proceeding is, if issues of fact are raised on the record, to hear and report to the court about those issues of fact only.

The referee has only an authority "to report", not do "decide" or "rule" on any legal issue.  

Liability of an attorney in a disciplinary proceeding is a legal issue, and Referee Sirkin clearly says in the transcript that based on his ruling, he may deny me a hearing and move to a mitigation hearing, which means he is planning to make a decision on liability, the decision he has no authority to make.

Naturally, after hearing that the referee plans to completely usurp the authority of the court he does not have and, possibly, deny me the trial, the only thing that the referee was ORDERED BY THE COURT to do, I moved to disqualify the referee.

Look what Mary Gasparini says about that:

To Mary Gasparini, it is clear from the same transcript where the referee says he is going to decide motions and cross-motions and, possibly, deny me the right to a trial which was ordered by the court, that the referee did nothing wrong.

Mary Gasparini does not see the referee exceed his authority, even after she correctly states under oath what that restricted authority is - to hear and report on factual issues only.

Mary Gasparini is paid enormous amounts of taxpayer money to protect the public from attorney misconduct.

Yet, instead of doing any due diligence on cases she is working on, cases where she holds livelihood and reputation of attorneys and their families, and attorneys' ability to work at all, since disbarred attorneys are pretty much unemployable, Mary Gasparini, on state time, prefers to go speak at private CLE seminars to teach other attorneys about attorney ethics.

Yet, Ms. Gasparini advances mutually exclusive arguments to the court and considers that ethical.

Ms. Gasparini, obviously, would have benefited from a couple of those CLE seminars on ethics, at her own expense, of course.

Yet, that might not help, as all the "ethics" that are governing Ms. Gasparini's conduct is impunity.  Once again, who is going to discipline her for apparently unethical behavior - herself or the court that she is the "auxiliary" of?  

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