"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, December 22, 2014

A book is planned mapping constitutional issues that state and federal courts considered frivolous in litigation that my husband and/or I handled

My husband and I have been through a lot from the time that I was admitted to the bar in 2009.

The bar and the judiciary viciously opposed doubling of our legal services, which one judge called "double-teaming" (as in:  "I hate their double-teaming"), mostly in criminal and Family Court proceedings. 

For some local attorneys, my entry into the legal profession increased competition since my husband mostly handled cases outside of Delaware County, and I started to handle cases in Delaware County and adjoining counties, thus taking away business from other attorneys.  They hated it and openly declared promises to "run them out of town".

For many local judges, in me they acquired a pain in the ass since, despite being a beginner attorney, I was trained by one of the best lawyers in the area for many more years than my law school training, had three advanced degrees, including an advanced degree in teaching English, was and remain independent and mature-minded, stubborn, well-trained and well-researched in civil rights litigation, and, having been born and raised in a communist country (Russia), had a belief to uphold and enforce the rule of law.

I am not a person with a "whatever you say, Your Honor" mentality, who can be taught to scrape and bow to the so-called "authority", even when that authority is clearly wrong and is violating the law, the way I, a well-trained and well-researched individual with a law degree, understand that law.  Is this independent streak causing the demise of my career in law?  If it will, it will make for another good book, or two.

I understand that nobody likes criticism, yet attorneys, in zealously protecting their clients' rights, must criticize whoever violates their clients' rights, be it the judge or any public official, and must do it as often as often violations of those clients' rights occur.

So, the judicial system "double-teamed" with powerful attorneys - to get rid of us.

In 2011 they disbarred my husband, thus depriving the poor and under-served population of Delaware County of his services, including pro bono services that he generously provided to a lot of people, who could come to him or call him, before his disbarment, at any time and many of them got free advice from him.

After my husband's wrongful disbarment, without a hearing, after 37 years of service to his community, I tried to carry his torch as much as I could, providing free advice and free legal services as much as I could. 

Two years before my husband's disbarment a certain group of local public officials started to prepare grounds to disbar me, too.

From illegal (and dismissed) parking tickets in front of the courthouse where everybody parks, but only I was targeted as a "big-mouth attorney", to illegal (and dismissed) child neglect proceedings by people whose conflicts of interest will take a book to fully describe, and I, most likely, do not know the full extent of the conflicts which still keep emerging, to the judge who was at the head of the campaign to stop our "double-teaming" and "run me out of town" and whom I sued (Delaware County judge Carl F. Becker) assigning himself to the cases where I appeared as attorney or party and sanctioning me for raising constitutional arguments, to rumors being spread out all across New York courts, from local to the Supreme court level that I am either already disbarred or about to be disbarred, urging potential clients not to come to me - we had it all.

Both my husband and I tried to litigate multiple violations of our constitutional rights by state and local officials in federal courts.  We quickly learnt that federal courts are joined with the state courts at the hip and fiercely protect the state public officials from adjudication of misconduct, by "local rules", various judicially created doctrines and the so-called "judicial discretion" to punish litigants for frivolous conduct.

Over the years of litigation I've learnt to expect that every constitutional argument that I am bringing in state or federal court, no matter how well researched, reasoned or supported by legal authorities (even though there is no requirement to support constitutional arguments by legal authorities, as the only legal authority such arguments require are the U.S. Constitution and your own reasonable interpretation of it, and whether it is reasonable is for the jury and not the federal judge to decide), will be rejected, ridiculed and sanctioned.

Finally, I decided to pull into a book and publish the following:

(1) the constitutional issues that state and federal courts declared frivolous in cases that I handled for myself and/or my clients;

(2) the legal authorities and reasoning I used to support my argument;

(3) the reasoning of various courts rejecting my constitutional arguments, where available (because some courts rejected my constitutional arguments without any reasoning);

(4) the names of judges who rejected my constitutional argument, their biographies and appearances of conflicts of interest that I was able to find, and their history of handling other constitutional arguments, as well as their history of retaliation for criticism; 

(5) the value of the arguments I was bringing, not just for me, my family members or my clients, but for the entire American public.

I hope the book will provide a valuable for litigants, attorneys and other readers inside and outside of the United States insight into the workings of the American judicial system, the myth of the so-called "access to justice for all" and the myth that the allegedly "honorable" judges in the American allegedly "honorable" court system allegedly uphold the U.S. Constitution instead of violating it at every possible turn.

I plan to publish three versions of the book in several languages:  English, Russian and Spanish.

The book will be put together and published within a reasonable time of the conclusion of my disciplinary case.  I hope you will be my readers.  I promise I will work hard on the book and make it worth my readers' time and money.

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