"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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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

A party or an attorney can be severely sanctioned in American courts for missing an appearance, both with a fine, with a disciplinary action (for an attorney) and for an entry of a judgment of default against the party.

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.

Dream on.

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?

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