"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.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A prosecutor is elevated into the judiciary after engaging in an ex parte communication with a judge

I have written on this blog that I complained to the Judicial Conduct Commission about Judge John Wiedman of the Oxford Village Court, New York, for, among other things, engaging in an ex parte communication with a prosecutor, First Assistant District Attorney of Chenango County Stephen Dunshee.

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.

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