On March 26, 2014 I reported on this blog the episode where:
2nd exception - advice of a disinterested person or expert on the law. The exception does not apply. Delice Seligman is not a "disinterested expert on the law".
3rd exception - consultation with court personnel. Delice Seligman is not court personnel, she was attorney for a party in the pending proceedings.
4th exception - there was no consent from me "to confer separately on agreed upon matters", Judge Cahill did not even seek such consent, instead he unilaterally conferred with parties separately (and Delice Seligman claimed it was this judge's policy to do that, so he does it regularly - the public should beware) without seeking any consent from them and by clearly prohibiting attorneys from entering when he was engage in an ex parte conference with their opponents (like it happened to me);
5th exception - authority under the law for an ex parte communication. There was no authority under the law for an ex parte communication in a divorce action where a motion was pending to vacate the judgment of divorce pointing out multiple gross mistakes of the judge and of attorney Seligman.
Here is a snippet from the brochure of the New York State Bar Association for public use - advising the public what constitutes judicial misconduct:
An attorney in Ohio recently was punished by a 1-year suspension from practice for - surprise! - ex parte communications with judges in divorce actions.
Compare how a federal court in New York faulted a pregnant female attorney for an alleged ex parte communication with the court where all she was discussing was scheduling (would have fall under 2nd exception above) and her health (would have fallen under the 5th exception above, as health issues are covered by state and federal privacy laws and the attorney was clearly dismayed that the judge outed her doctor's recommendations to her opposing counsel).
If attorneys are disciplined for engaging in ex parte communications in violation of attorneys' rules of professional conduct, judges must be disciplined for violation of their rules of ethics, too, otherwise these rules of ethics are not worth the paper they are written on.
By the way, NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct does discipline judges for ex parte communications - of course, only judges of justice courts who are mostly not attorneys. I wrote about this "selectiveness" of the Commission on the blog.
In 2013 NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct took off the bench a judge from our area, Judge Glenn George, for conduct that included ex parte communications, discussing the merits of the case with a prospective litigant. I doubt that the rule against an ex parte communication is even applicable to PROSPECTIVE litigation, other than it will require the judge to step down from the case when it is filed, and yet Judge George was punished for engaging in an "ex parte" communication in a non-existing proceeding. In my case, it was pending litigation, squarely within the rule prohibiting ex parte communications, Delice Seligman confirmed that the ex parte conference occurred, that it was a matter of policy for Judge Cahill to hold such ex parte conferences, and that the ex parte conference was on the merits of the case.
Yet, Judge George was punished and for Judge Cahill there was no "sufficient indication of judicial misconduct".
So, for all purposes, the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct was presented irrefutable evidence that Judge Cahill violated 22 NYCRR 100.3(6), the rule prohibiting judges from initiating or engaging in ex parte communication in a pending action on the merits of the case and had to honestly do its job and initiate prosecution of Judge Cahill.