"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, February 4, 2015

An alert to the clients of Hiscock & Barclay LLP of Albany, NY and of Harlem & Jervis of Oneonta, NY

I am in receipt of documentary evidence (billing statements) from two law firms, Hiscock & Barclay LLP of Albany, NY and from Harlem & Jervis of Oneonta, New York, which conclusively indicate that the law firms continued to bill their clients at the time when one of the parties in the action died and jurisdiction of the court "abated" (stopped, stayed), and continued to so bill before jurisdiction restored through substitution of legal representative of a deceased part, CPLR 1015.  

The period of abatement of jurisdiction during which both law firms continued to bill their clients continued from September 2012 to May 2013, for 8 months.

Improper billing of clients during abatement of jurisdiction of the court, to me, is a matter of serious public concern which I consider my duty to disclose to the public.

These two law firms have protected status in courts because they are owned and employ relatives of the judiciary and are in business relations with New York State Senators - NYS State Senator Neil Breslin is "of counsel" in Hiscock & Barclays, M. Cornelia Cahill, spouse of the New York State Chief Judge of the Court of Claims Richard Sise is a member (co-owner) of Hiscock & Barclays, LLP; 
Harlem & Jervis was founded by the now deceased former judge Robert Harlm, former Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District and by his son Richard Harlem,  Richard Harlem is a long-time landlord to NYS Senator' James Seward's district office in Oneonta, NY.

It is my personal experience that New York civil courts have been consistently changing and subverting court rules, statutes, common law principles and even application of constitutional law in order to grant relief and attorney's fees to these powerful and politically connected law firms, no matter what kind of misconduct the law firms engaged in.

I do not expect civil courts to suddenly change their course and start holding these law firms to the rule of law.  It did not happen before, I doubt that it is going to happen any time soon. 

Since courts seem to be asleep at the wheel and there is no expectation that the courts will ever hold these law firms accountable, I consider it my duty to directly inform the public of these improper billing practices that the public may fall victim to. 

Moreover, Hiscock & Barclays LLP was hired in the case I am talking about by an insurance company.  Thus, any improper billings by Hiscock & Barclays LLP to the insurance company at the time jurisdiction of the court abated and no billing was allowed, should be investigated by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of the NYS Attorney General's office, which is exactly what I am asking the Attorney General to do.

I am turning these two law firm into the appropriate authorities to investigate propriety of the practices described herein.

Stay tuned as to what the authorities have to say about this and if these powerful law firms will even be investigated or prosecuted for their billing practices.

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