"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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Time to get your heads out of the ... maybe, sand, colleagues?

More and more people get referred to me by attorneys who don't want to "be blackballed" by the judiciary, and for that reason do not want to provide to their clients services that their clients need, like making a motion to recuse against a judge who the referring attorneys know is biased and needs to be disqualified.

When referring such clients you, dear colleagues, know that I was already sanctioned for making motions to recuse, and that an attorney can be severely sanctioned for stepping into a case only to recuse a judge.  But you don't care about me, do you?

When referring such clients, you tell them that you don't want to be blackballed by even making a motion to recuse (a completely legal thing to do, isn't it), but that I have nothing to lose in risking yet another sanction on behalf of your clients that you do not to serve properly.

You took an oath of office, same as I did.

You pledged to zealously protect interests of your clients and to uphold the laws and the Constitutions of the State of New York and of the United States of America, same as I did.

Yet, when it comes to actually practice what you preached when taking that oath of office, you refuse to do that because the supposedly honorable judges will retaliate against you for doing your job?

And rules of attorney discipline require you to report that judicial misconduct, but you never do, again because you are afraid?

And you call yourself members of an honorable profession?

And you know that the judge is retaliating against me for doing my job on behalf of my clients, including indigent and pro bono clients, and do nothing to step in because the bell is now tolling not for you?

You know, don't you, that such behavior is not exactly honorable?

Don't you think there may come a time for every attorney when he or she will have to do that moral choice and make that motion to recuse, maybe on your own behalf - and you will be in my position then?

Who will help you then?

You know, don't you, that everybody will be then sitting in the bushes afraid to speak in your defense, same as you are doing now with me?

Don't you think there would have to come a time to demand that the "rules of the game" be changed so that your oath can mean something real?

Don't you think there would have to come a time when people will start asking questions why this "honorable" legal profession is in fact so cowardly in failing to protect the public from judicial misconduct?

Don't you feel ashamed when you refer your clients, including paying clients, to me simply because you are cowards and do not have the guts to do your own job properly?

You should be.

But - of course, I cannot tell you how to live your lives.  If you want to live with your heads deeply in ... let's say, the sand ... it is your choice.  And a matter of your conscience.

But - don't you think it would be actually more prudent, in the long run, to get together, make and implement and plan to clean up the corrupt and dirty stables of our state and federal judiciaries instead of pretending you are part of the honorable profession while you are brown-nosing judges you know to be incompetent, biased and sometimes openly corrupt?

It is better to clean up a festering wound when you see it than to allow it to turn into a gangrene that will make the system beyond redemption.

Remember my words when this filth - who knows - starts affecting your own life, not just the lives of your clients who you refuse to protect despite your duty to do so.

Your conscience, your life, your oath of office, your choice.

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