THE EVOLUTION OF JUDICIAL TYRANNY IN THE UNITED STATES:
"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.
Monday, November 17, 2014
A complaint was filed against Judges Robert Mulvey, Michael V. Coccoma, Carl F. Becker
1) Judge Carl F. Becker, of Delaware County Court/ Supreme Court/ Family Court for unlawfully unsealing information about a youtful offender (YO) in a family court proceeding where the YO was not a party, and without notice to the YO, his attorney or the court which handled the YO adjudication, and to investigate Judge Becker's role in intimidating the YO by threats of incarceration into signing a release of the YO information to Judge Becker's court after a complaint about improper release of YO information was filed with Judge Mulvey, the Chief Adminstrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District;
2) Judge Michael V. Coccoma, Chief Administrative Judge for upstate New York, for retaliating against a criminal defendant after he complained about Michael V. Coccoma that Michael V. Coccoma was treating the criminal defendant as a sex offender while he was never charged, convicted or sentenced for a sex offense. Upon information and belief, after the criminal defendant filed a complaint against Judge Coccoma with the Commission of Judicial Conduct, he was unlawfully sentenced by Judge Coccoma for 4 years in prison because he denied he was a sex offender (correctly) while the judge insisted he was a sex offender (incorrectly);
3) Judge Robert Mulvey, Chief Administrative Judge for the 6th Judicial District, for a pattern of retaliation and misconduct in a nubmer of cases, featuring deciding cases where jurisdiction of the court abated after incapacitation of a party, attempting to drag me as an attorney into a case from which I was released by consent trying to bind my former client, misrepresenting what occurred in a court proceeding in order to retaliate against me and, through me, against my husband for suing the judge for misconduct, for targeting my clients in retaliaton against me, for failure to disclose his conflicts of interest and recuse from cases.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
A complaint was filed against Judge Mary Rita Connerton, of Binghamton, NY
(1) bigoted attitude to me as a foreign-born attorney and party;
(2) using her authority to protect governmental officials from developing the record of their misconduct at trial;
(3) engaging in ex parte communication on the merits of a case involving my constitutional rights;
(4) blocking my access to the recording of the court proceedings where the judge, behind my back, tells parties and counsel that my motion gives her a headache;
(5) relying upon oral argument in front of a recused judge in order to skip an oral argument and a trip from Binghamton, NY to Delhi, NY;
(6) likely being the source who ordered my detention in the courthouse on the way out of the courthouse (access to security videotapes to establish that for sure was blocked by the court administration), on the day when I DID NOT appear in front of Judge Connerton as an attorney or party, simply because of Judge Connerton's bias to me; and, among other things,
(7) for giving the government legal advice as to how to "get" my family better "the next time" since the government could not make their case against us the first time.
I consider Judge Connerton to be a jeopardy to the public and especially to the diverse body of litigants in Binghamton, Judge Connerton's usual seat, since Judge Connerton made negative inferences agaisnt me for "furrowed brow and hurried speech", even though she must know that such mannerisms may be attributed to the fact that English is not my native language.
On diabetic gun license holders who drink and criticize the government, diabetic judges and diabetic judges who drink
I insist that public would also want to know if the person in whose hands is a particular litigants life, liberty, reputation, property, or custody of children has any medical or mental health conditions that would prevent him from having good concentration or retention of information, or which would cloud his or her judgment.
Let's focus on just one possibility - if a judge has diabetes.
Swings in sugar levels in diabetes, as is well known, can and do cause swings in moods and in perception, or even visual hallucination, if diabetes is not under control.
It is highly inadvisable for a diabetic to drink alcohol.
Recently, Delaware County Judge Carl F. Becker revoked a gun license of a person using the fact that he was a diabetic and intoxicated as a passenger in a car, see Lillian Browne, Walton Reporter, November 13, 2014, p. 3 "Man Acquitted of Charges, Sues Walton PD".
As quoted by the newspaper above, Judge Becker reprimanded the gun license holder this way: "There is sufficient grounds to believe that you engaged in conduct which raises serious questions as to your conduct and decision making abilities to consume alcoholic beverages when you are a diabetic".
Now, since a judge acknowledges that drinking while having diabetes is a serious judgment flaw, are judges, the public officials who are supposed to make decisions, often in fast-paced environments, about people's liberty, reputation, property, custody of children - do they undergo regular screening for debilitating diseases and influence of alcohol and drugs?
Try FOILing this information and your FOIL will be rejected on the issue of privacy. It is a private issue whether the black-robed person on the bench has a mood swing and pushes "the red nuclear button of your life" because he is sick, or sick and drunk, or sick and under the influence of medication.
I cannot get FOILs through even for financial information of judges, while judges' financial reports must clearly be public record and must show people what the judge owns, what is his/her and his/her spouse's income and who gives the judge gifts.
Yet - isn't the fact that Mr. Picinich is a diabetic also private and why did Judge Becker publicize it on record and make it a part of his court decision?
Shouldn't we the People have more say in who takes our liberty, reputation, property and children away? Shouldn't we know if a certain judge is a diabetic and may be hallucinating or having a sugar level-induced mood-swing on the bench while deciding your case? Shouldn't we know if the judge who is a diabetic is "drinking his lunch and dinner", and especially if it is on a regular basis?
I recall that all those public officials, including judges, call themselves (when they pretend humility that they do not have) "public servants". Yet, those so-called "servants", when they get out of hand, which is what they do as a matter of right, are very difficult, if at all possible, to get rid of, and usurp power to retaliate against the complainants and eliminate complainants' rights, be that livelihood, reputation, property, gun licenses, other licenses - you name it.
And - my question now is, will Judge Becker return the gun license to Mr. Picinich who was acquitted by a jury of the criminal charges, or will Judge Becker still "stick to his guns", no pun intended, and continue to punish the acquitted individual - which will look like punishing him for
(1) winning a jury trial,
(2) having the police officer John Cornwell disappear from Walton PD,
(3) having the Walton Police Department embarrassed, and
(4) for suing the Walton Police Department in court?
Isn't Judge Becker just a little out of control where he denies or revokes gun licenses in cases involving criticism of the government, and this is the second case when he does it that I know, and there may be more cases that I do not know of?
And - since Judge Becker, as a judicial officer, pronounced that it is a judgment flaw for a diabetic to drink alcohol, that should be the law now and all individuals who have to make important judgments on a daily basis that people's lives depend on, including judges, should be screened for whether they are diabetics who drink, or have other debilitating physical or mental diseases affecting concentration and judgment, or whether they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while at their official duties?
Wouldn't that be a good idea?
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
More on finality of court orders that declare that the Sun rises in the West
Let's say a certain court and a certain judge who had authority to preside over a case as a finder of facts, found that the Sun rises in the West.
The losing party made a motion to vacate claiming plain error, and lost because such errors must be raised only on appeal.
The losing party sued in federal court and lost on the Younger abstention grounds, because state appeals did not run through yet.
The losing party appealed and the appellate court affirmed claiming that they cannot do anything, because they must defer to the factual findings of the lower court.
The losing party sued in federal court against and lost under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, because the federal court claimed issues of due process that the losing party is raising should have been raised on appeal.
Ok. The losing party lost in state court and on all appeals from the state court order that says that the Sun rises in the West.
The losing party has lost in federal court without reaching the merits, because the state court already made its ruling which should be final and should not be disturbed.
Now, as to the losing party, for all purposes, the Sun rises in the West?
Yes, it must, it is now the law.
But does the Sun really rise in the West?
Look out your western-bound window in the morning and you will know.
Yet, if you move to vacate once again the obviously crazy decision of the court, you will now be sanctioned for frivolous conduct, ordered to pay your opponent's counsel fee and, possibly, blocked from access to court altogether as a "vexatious litigant".
But the Sun still rises in the East - yet, not for you...
This is just a hypothetical of how the law of finality works in American courtrooms.
You think it's crazy? There are zillions of decisions that say exactly this, only instead of "Sun rises in the West" there is something slightly different, for example, a misrepresentation of documents which do not say what the court says they say, or misrepresentation of the law which does not say what the court says it says.
Yet, the result is the same - if the court says (erroneously, or with a purpose to hurt you) that black is white, A is Z and that, yes, that the Sun rises in the West - that's the law for you.
And don't you dare tell the judge that it is - what? - that's right, crazy, your Honor!
A hypothetical for law students - is there a way to find an unknown address on a blind map?
You think not? Think again.
In the case Martens v. Neroni (I wrote about what I consider open bribery of the presiding appellate judge by the New York State governor before the judge decided the case):
- One administrative law judge for the DEC (who is on staff of the DEC and paid by the DEC - Molly McBride);
- One DEC Commissioner acting as an Appellate Judge (Alexander "Pete" Grannis who is promulgating the rules as well as adjudicating them, and then is suing as a party to enforce his own rulings);
- One Supreme Court Judge (Carl F. Becker); and
- 5 Appellate Division Judges,
all in all 8 judicial or quasi-judicial officers have found that unknown address on that blind map and denied a civil rights attorney and her husband, a former attorney, their constitutional rights to a jury trial guaranteed by the Article I paragraph 2 of the New York State Constitution, as well as by the 7th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Because in law school law is all theory.
In the courtroom it is all practice.
And practice differs from theory in that there is no way a court will rule against the government, even if the government is sloppy, incompetent and commits fraud, and there is no way a court will rule in favor of an attorney who criticizes that court and that judge for judicial misconduct.
So - hang your J.D. diploma, take your bar exam, and then forget everything about the law and go work for the government. You will never need any knowledge, you will get your salary and benefits for life without straining to get knowledge or please clients, and no attorney discipline will ever touch you.
Is persistent illiteracy a basis for impeachment of a federal judge?
Federal courts claim that the XIth Amendment prohibits citizens of a state to sue their own state.
The text of the Amendment does not contain such language.
I was already punished by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Gary L. Sharpe for correctly quoting the XIth Amendment.
On November 6, 2014, Judge Kahn whom my husband just accused in a pleading of failure to disclose disqualifying conflicts of interest pertaining to Mr. Neroni and to me, rendered a decision where Judge Kahn dismisses certain claims of my husband based on Judge Kahn's understanding that the XIth Amendment bars my husband, a New York resident and citizen, from suing the State of New York.
Apparently, the U.S. Congress must include a reading and comprehension test as a pre-condition for confirmation of federal judges.
And - is failure to be able to read and comprehend the contents of the written law and the U.S. Constitution a basis for impeachment of federal judges?
Then, I suggest that Judge Lawrence E. Kahn, along with Judge Gary L. Sharpe, both of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, should be impeached for inability to read and comprehend the U.S. Constitution that they are both sworn to uphold.
And when judges rely on INCORRECT reading of the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court (Judge Kahn relied on an incorrect and later overruled case of the U.S. Supreme Court misreading the 11th Amendment), I cannot help recalling an old joke from my youth in the Soviet Russia:
A sergeant addresses newly drafted privates:
- Private Ivanov!
- Yess, Comrade Sergeant!
- Do crocodiles fly?
- No, Comrade Sergeant!
- But, Comrade Captain says they do!
- Oh, they do, but very-very low to the ground, Comrade Sergeant!
It's time to start audits of efficiency and competency of American courts and to revamp the federal and state court systems according to a business model of recruitment and management
Try missing a deadline to submit a pleading - the result will be the same.
Yet, I have yet to see a judge who would abide by mandatory court rules on:
(1) disqualification and disclosure of conflicts of interest;
(2) timely issuance of court orders.
In New York, written court orders must be issued within 60 days of the returnable day of the motion or the last date of the trial.
I had judges who denied me, off-handedly and arrogantly, any written decision to my written motions.
I had judges who told me to obtain, at my own expense or expense of my client, a transcript of the proceedings to discern from it what the judge's decision is (even when the judge did not make a decision in such proceedings).
I had judges who took, literally, years, to issue a decision.
I had judges who took years and still not issued a decision.
One of such judges is Judge Jacqueline Lamport of the Stamford Town Court. Judge Lamport has failed to issue an order of dismissal of a criminal action, despite my repeated written and oral requests, for over 2 years now.
Delaware County Court has failed to either appoint or control a judge to settle a transcript, and as a result I cannot proceed with an assigned criminal appeal for two years.
My written requests to the courts to move the case are simply ignored.
Judge Mary Work of the Ulster County Supreme Court has taken half a year to issue a decision on a motion that was filed in September of 2013, more than a year ago.
Federal courts are no different.
Federal court can routinely deny a party or attorney extra time to oppose a motion, but then will take a year to decide that same motion.
In federal appeals courts (I have the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit) clerks delay filings that arrive by mail by 2 weeks or more, causing the court to treat necessary filings as not being made, with dire consequences to parties.
Those same clerks sometimes lose filings sent to them by certified mail and claim the filings were never made.
Those same clerks require unnecessary work from pro se parties, such as service of forms and pleadings upon non-existing opponents. That is all from personal experience, I can only imagine how pro se parties who have no legal education are treated.
Attorneys and parties are routinely sanctioned by courts for imperfect pleadings. Yet, judges may routinely misrepresents facts of the record, existing law, they can deviate from the law, they can make up the law for the parties or attorneys they favor, they can make up the law against the parties or attorneys they disfavor, and there will be no consequences whatsoever.
If a business model is to be applied to courts in terms of efficiency and competency, many judges, clerks and other court personnel will be fired and blackballed for what they now do on a daily basis.
No business can effectively exist and survive being so wasteful, so inefficient and so arrogantly incompetent as American courts are.
So maybe it's time for the People of the United States and of each sovereign state to start direct audits their courts, their efficiency and competency and start approaching recruitment and performance of the judiciary as any business owner approaches such issues in his business?
The question that will arise then will be - with so many sacked arrogant incompetents whose only value was familial or other "friendly" or political connection to judges or other public officials - who will hire them? In earnest? Imagine these people with signs "will work for food" - and what will you do for food, screw up somebody's business for food? misrepresent business records for food? misrepresent company policies or food? be arrogant to customers for food? No, thank you.
If screwing up somebody's business is unacceptable, how is it acceptable to screw up people's lives through incompetence, arrogance, cronyism and corruption of personnel of the American courts?
Does this country need female attorneys at all?
Yet, based on how female attorneys are treated by the industry of legal services, how they are promoted, or rather, not promoted, and how they are discriminated against, openly and in more subtle ways, it appears that female attorneys still have become the mainstream of the legal profession.
Many female attorneys leave the legal profession because of, among other things:
(1) long hours;
(2) because family obligations are regarded by the law partners (and often by courts) as a hindrance to discharging the attorney's presumed duty of having to work 24-7 without distractions;
(3) lack of promotion within the large law firms;
(4) discrimination in court by the "good old boys club", including male judges and male attorney opponents.
Multiple sources have so far reported on the discrimination against female attorneys in the legal profession, and about, literally, exodus of women from the legal profession.
Yet, the situation is not remedied and becomes worse. Why? Because discrimination and humiliation of females in the legal profession is practically unassailable.
There are no trade unions in the legal profession to protect females from discrimination or negotiate "equal pay" contracts or promotion.
Female attorneys are afraid to complain about their employers because they will never get a job if they do complain.
How many times I was perceived as a party, not an attorney simply because I am not dressed in a suit, I am a female and I have an accent...
How many times I was talked down to by a male attorney, when that same attorney would not dream to talk this way to a male counterpart.
How many times I was talked down to or humiliated by a male judge who, similarly, would not dream to talk this way to a male attorney.
Female attorneys are afraid to complain about sexist conduct of judges because judges who are subject of the complaint have power to affect the attorney's license and end her legal career, thus putting years of costly education and years of acquiring skills and reputation down the drain with a few lines of a retaliative (and incorrect) court order imposing arbitrary sanctions upon an attorney - and your livelihood is done for good, because once your license is pulled, you will not be employable anywhere.
Recently, a female attorney was denied an adjournment of a hearing because she gave birth and the baby was too young and nobody was available to take care of her. So, the attorney brought the child into the courtroom to avoid a citation of contempt and a loss of rights for her client - only to be publicly chastised by the same judge who denied her the adjournment. The press reports that an adjournment was given to the attorney, but did not report whether the attorney made a motion to recuse a judge who publicly and unnecessarily humiliated her.
The attorney did file a complaint about the judge that was being investigated. I wonder how this judge will be ruling in this attorney's cases after the situation went public. With the lack of temperament suitable for a judge that the judge already demonstrated, it is naïve to presume that the judge will not use his power to retaliate against this female lawyer in the future, for trying to combine being a mother and being a counsel of her client's choice.
I doubt that the judge will ever be disciplined for his sexist attitude and uncivilized behavior. Yet, these are occasions that makes a female attorney think whether it is worth it to remain in the environment so hostile to her simply because she is a woman.
In my own experience, a judge can tell a female attorney:
(1) stop the catfight - about a legal argument - and get away with it;
(2) close your mouth - and get away with it;
(3) yell and humiliate a female attorney at every turn - and get away with it;
(4) retaliate against the female attorney when she complains by imposing arbitrary sanctions - and get away with it.
Please, tell me what is the attraction in using your intellect in order to come to court and be humiliated by a pompous jerk in a black robe who will rule against you no matter what because (1) you are a woman and should know your place; and (2) because he does not like you or your client.
You have to be a masochist to the bottom of your heart to want to earn your living this way. There are many ways to help people without being an attorney and without subjecting yourself to this endless humiliation.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
When victims of police torture are denied a legal remedy and their torturer is paid a pension at their expense as taxpayers - that's the ugly, but true face of access to justice in the U.S.
At that same time, court-created statutes of limitations, even for constitutional violations, which abound here, prevent victims of the torture from obtaining any compensation.
This case, of all cases, shows why there should not be statutes of limitations on torture and statutes of limitations for victims of torture to sue their torturers.
Let me ask you - why the German Nazi criminals are tracked down and put through trials for their crimes, without any statutes of limitations, while a torturer like this walks free, and his victims are denied compensation?
There is no statute of limitations written into the federal Civil Rights Act, it is a judicial creation to prevent the court dockets from being overwhelmed with civil rights claims.
Yet, victims of torture must have a remedy at all times, especially because they were prevented from suing their torturers by the same government which is now paying pension to Mr. Burge. Let's not pretend naivete by saying that they could sue within the 3-year judicially-established statute of limitations even when they were behind bars.
Federal courts claiming that everybody is equal under the law treat prisoners and their lawsuits like garbage.
Moreover, filing a lawsuit against a police officer while you are still in prison can invite more brutality against you, now by corrections officers who will beat you up outside of reach of video cameras and then use your own bruises against you claiming that it was you who assaulted police officers and not vice versa.
People only end up injured, possibly dead, or at the very least in a solitary confinement for a very long time or with more falsified charges, now for assault of police officers, if you try to sue public officials from within prisons.
With just 5% of the world's population, the U.S. has 25% of prison population, and the prison population only keeps growing, thus only aggravating the problem with access to justice.
Corrections officers' brutality in American prisons is rampant and not even nearly addressed the way it should be.
Instead of addressing the issue of torture, both before and after conviction, the U.S. Government enacted long ago the so-called "Prisoners Litigation Reform Act", introducing a pre-condition that a prisoner must first exhaust administrative remedies in the prison before being able to sue for brutality or other unconstitutional prison conditions in federal court. The "statute of limitations" imposed by that condition precedent is a whopping 15 DAYS!!!
In other words, if a prisoner does not officially complain about police brutality within 15 days of the occurrence - while the prisoner is still within the prison and his health and life is in the hands of the very same people who he is complaining about - the prisoner will not be allowed by federal courts and the U.S. Congress to address the issue of torture at all.
That is "the law" in the U.S.
And that law and the law that was just created by allowing the torturer to keep his taxpayer-backed pension while his victims cannot obtain any compensation from him directly or from the state who hired and empowered him should be taken off the books as a shame of this nation.
Let's put it this way - Mr. Burge is now the face of the level of access to justice in the U.S.
The ugly face, but the true face.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Judges in New York are not amenable to discipline unless they are judges who are not attorneys and unless they upset a prosecutor - and then all bets are off and no law applies
Naturally, most of the complaints dealt with courtroom behavior of judges, as I witnessed that behavior as an attorney or a party in legal proceedings.
All of the complaints, other than those which are pending, were dismissed by the Judicial Conduct Commission with an indication to me that where a judge's misconduct occurred during a court proceeding, my avenue to address it is on appeal.
Yet, when I sued judges for misconduct, my lawsuits were dismissed on the basis of the so-called absolute judicial immunity conferred upon the judges even when they are sued for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench, specifically because discipline is (supposedly) available for their acts on the bench.
Now, you see the circular logic here.
A judge may not be sued for acts in a court proceeding, because you have the alternative to have him disciplined.
A judge cannot be disciplined because you are complaining about his acts in a court proceeding.
And an appellate court will rubber-stamp anything the judge said and reject any allegations of bias.
And the Court of Appeals will refuse to see any constitutional violations.
And it is easier to squeeze through a needle's eye than to get a review in the U.S. Supreme Court.
And your federal claims that the judge is violating your federal constitutional rights will be rejected by a federal court while the state proceeding is pending on a judicially created "Younger abstention", and, after the biased judge ruled against you, and the appellate court rubber-stamped the ruling, your federal claims will be rejected by the federal court under the so-called "Rooker-Feldman doctrine".
So, if you move to recuse a judge in the court below, the judge may punish you (in a civil case) and your attorney with a fine of up to $10,000.00 and with your opponent's attorney's fees which your opponent's attorney will be happy to inflate since such a windfall fell into his or her lap.
But - guess what - there seems to be an interesting exception in New York to this "do not criticize a judge, or else" rule.
(1) If a judge is a not an attorney, and
(2) If a judge, in a criminal case, upset a prosecutor by ruling for the criminal defendant.
Look at what happened to Judge Daniel J. Evans of the Norwich City Court.
Judge Evans dismissed, sua sponte (on the court's own motion), a traffic ticket, which was a clearly judicial act, yet the Commission for Judicial Conduct claimed that Judge Evans undermined
That was clearly an act on the bench, a judicial act.
And the "policy" of the Judicial Conduct Commission would be to tell the prosecution to appeal the dismissal if they are not happy instead of prosecuting a judge. Had Judge Evans been a judge of an upper court, and had Judge Evans been an attorney, no investigation would have been conducted, no testimony would have been taken, the complaint against Judge Evans would have been tossed and Judge Evans would still be on the bench now - as numerous judges (who are attorneys) who were subject of much worse complaints, still remain.
Yet, a proceeding erupted where Judge Evans was hauled as a witness against himself, was grilled as to why he (1) did not engage in an ex parte communication with the prosecution and (2) why he did not conduct his own discovery on the case before he dismissed it.
Note that the judge admits to an ex parte with Mr. Dunshee, and the ex parte communication, in the Commission's view, is necessary to prevent discipline of the judge - because then the Commission found that the judge lied to the Commission, that there was no ex parte communication with Stephen Dunshee and THAT was the reason why the judge was taken off the bench.
Judge Evans also admitted that he actually started seeking evidence from outside of the record when the Commission started its investigation of him - but obviously, Judge Evans did not engage in this "expected" judicial misconduct soon enough for the Commission's liking.
Stephen Dunshee's testimony against Judge Evans, Stephen Dunshee's own former client, was inconsistent and sometimes mumbling:
Look how Stephen Dunshee describes his own employment history:
Here Stephen Dunshee is completely incoherent: "Before that I had a private law practice which I was with the district attorney's office three or four years". What does that mean? Would you like such reasoning faculties in a magistrate judge that Stephen Dunshee has just become?
So, in my experience, the Judicial Conduct Commission, following its own policy, does not even investigate judges if they are accused of misconduct on the bench, claiming that the only remedy is on appeal.
Yet, Judge Evans was taken off the bench because of a judicial act, the sua sponte dismissal and because he did not consult with the ADA before the dismissal!
So now, for a judge of a justice court, not to lose his judgeship, is necessary to actually engage in ex parte communications with prosecutors of traffic tickets.
This stuff is, really, for the Last Week Tonight show...
Yet it is the reality in New York...
And - judges who are attorneys, packs of them, are not hauled into the Judicial Conduct Commission and are not prosecuted for not following procedural law, NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO.
And, had the sua sponte dismissal been of a civil case, the civil plaintiff would have banged his or her head against the door of the Commission in vain, they would have simply tossed his complaint.
It is because a prosecutor was upset, the judge (a non-lawyer judge) was taken off the bench.
Also, Judge Evans was taken off the bench for failure to disclose that he has been represented 3-4 years prior by the Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dunshee in the same Conduct Commission, when Stephen Dunshee appeared in front of him as a prosecutor.
Yet, Judge Carl F. Becker appeared as an Acting Supreme Court Justice in Delaware County in a DEC case where the NYS Attorney General, at that same time representing Judge Becker in a lawsuit against Judge Becker in his individual capacity, was a plaintiff's attorney.
Judge Becker made no disclosures of representation, rejected any claims of impropriety, and the appellate division, after a financial incentive from the Governor in the form of nomination of the presiding judge of the appellate panel Judge Leslie Stein to the Court of Appeals, affirmed that Judge Becker's non-disclosure was ok.
So, we have a real double-standard here.
One judge (who is not an attorney and who pissed a prosecutor, who was "coincidentally" the judge's own prior attorney) has been taken off the bench for exactly the same reasons as to why another judge was not, despite complaints filed by me about non-disclosure of involvement with the New York State Attorney General as the judge's counsel in an individual matter.
Not only Judge Becker was not taken off the bench in 2011, with a prohibition, like in Judge Evans' case, not to take the bench again, but Judge Becker was allowed to run and be re-elected for a new 10-year term, retained his appointment as an Acting Supreme Court justice entitling him to a higher salary and to a higher pension on retirement.
So, when you are told next time about the so-called "rule of law" in the State of New York... Read the proceedings against Judge Daniel Evans on the website of the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct.
A prosecutor is elevated into the judiciary after engaging in an ex parte communication with a judge
The judge recused without denying the fact of the ex parte communication, the ex parte communication on the merits of a criminal case was supported by affidavits of two witnesses.
Moreover, on the date of my last appearance when Judge Wiedman recused, Stephen Dunshee was trying to publicly humiliate me by asking me in court absolutely irrelevant questions. The case was a misdemeanor, and Mr. Dunshee considered it necessary and appropriate to ask me questions whether I ever defended an A-2 felony case (I actually did, and not one A-2 felony case, but that was, once again, irrelevant to the discussed matters).
At the same time, Mr. Dunshee failed to timely respond to a motion to disqualify where, based on affidavits of witnesses, allegations were made that Mr. Dunshee engaged in an ex parte communication with a judge, was intimidating a witness and concealed from the defense the Brady material (exculpatory evidence).
Since then, Mr. Dunshee reportedly resigned because he was actually elevated into a judicial position of a support magistrate.
Now Mr. Dunshee who obviously has major ethical issues and issues pertaining to discrimination of professional women and women with an accent (at least judging as to his behavior in regards to me), is going to be a support magistrate, with fact-finding powers.
I keep wondering if one of the major qualifications for a judge in New York is the judge's ability to abuse a position of power and to violate the rules of ethics with arrogance.
Mr. Dunshee's case only confirms my experience.
I actually practice in the Chenango County Family Court in support matters. So now my clients and I will have to face the risk that Stephen Dunshee will have a full swing at me and my clients for making a motion against him in a criminal matter to disqualify him for misconduct.
It is notorious that it is practically impossible to get a judge to recuse on a motion to recuse, where judges decide motions to recuse against themselves, even for the most egregious misconduct, and have the power to penalize the party or attorney who made the motion with up to $10,000.00 in civil penalties, attorney's fees for a counseled opponent and irreversible damage to the attorney's reputation.
So, Stephen Dunshee, after his prosecutorial misconduct was pointed out to the court on a still pending motion, and after Stephen Dunshee demonstrated his sexist attitudes in open court, was, instead of being disciplined, was promoted to a judicial position and, by this move, removed from the reach of attorney discipline, because disciplinary committees refuse to discipline judges.
I wonder who has made this wonderful move of rewarding Stephen Dunshee for his misconduct with elevating him to a judicial position and removing him from the reach of attorney discipline...
All I can say, litigants and attorneys - beware of Magistrate Stephen Dunshee.