"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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A petition for a rehearing en banc was filed in the case Neroni v. Coccoma in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

The case filed and prosecuted pro se by my husband Frederick J. Neroni raises important issues of public concern, such as (among others):

(1) the use of public funds for free legal representation of private attorneys connected to the judiciary (see my blog post "assigned counsel for the rich");

(2) failure of the New York State court system to notify litigants that certain retired judges are appointed Judicial Hearing officers in certain courts, which prevents the public from knowing where the JHO's law firms are appearing in the same courts where the JHO is part of, despite the disqualification;

(3) the use by attorney disciplinary prosecutors of the results of disciplinary prosecution against attorneys for private gain.

You can word-search this blog for more information on the Neroni v. Coccoma case, I have several posts dedicated to this case.  The word-search window is located to the right of the text.

The petition additionally raises the following issues of extreme public concern:

  • connections of powerful law firms, Hiscock & Barclay LLP (of Albany, NY) and Hinman, Howard & Kattell LLP (of Binghamton, NY) with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and with its judges, through the court system and its various "Committees" and through outside "Councils", and other "mentoring" and social networking organizations, as well as by accepting employees of the court for employment and partnership in these law firms (see e.g. my blogpost "Judges Indebted to Others");
  • assignment of civil rights appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to a "fast and negligent" track to be decided by non-precedential "summary orders";
  • the fact that judges assigned to civil rights appeals (and who decided it by non-precedential "summary orders") are predominantly very elderly, 75 to 80 years old, and possibly lack the necessary vigor for an effective precedential analysis and de novo review on appeals REQUIRED for the civil rights appeals as of right;
  • consistent denial of equal protection of laws and due process of laws to civil rights appellants in the 2nd Circuit by dividing appeals into the tracks that, according to the court's arbitrary rules, are "worthy" or "unworthy" of precedential review de novo "as of right".

Stay tuned as to how the petition is decided.

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