"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, March 2, 2015

What was the court so afraid of in my disciplinary pleadings, opposition to prosecution's motion for a summary judgment and my cross-motion, that it unlawfully sealed those pleadings?

Judiciary Law 4 provides that all court proceedings are open to the public.  Judiciary Law 90(10) says nothing that attorney disciplinary proceedings, or its records, must be sealed, and multiple precedents provide for an attorney's right to waive her own privacy in such disciplinary proceedings, which I already did multiple times and in writing.

I decided to make public at least the points, if not the arguments and supporting authorities for the arguments in my cross motion that the NYS Appellate Division 4th Judicial Department denied twice, one time on September 30, 2014 without an explanation, and another time, when I brought a motion to vacate, renew and reargue as of right, and asked, as a point of my constitutional due process right to a reasoned court decision, without an explanation, reasoning, and with an anti-filing injunction and with an unlawful sealing order, without a notice to me or opportunity to be heard on those issues.

These are the "secret" issues that the court does not want you to see;

These were the points of my opposition to Petitioner's pending motion for a summary judgment that the court ordered a hearing on (but unlawfully sealed), and which the referee refused to give me that hearing:

  1. Point I.  That the Petitioner (disciplinary prosecutors) failed to provide to the court all the pleadings when bringing a motion for a summary judgment, which is a requirement under the law for bringing such a motion.
  2. Point II..  That the Petitioner, while not putting in the actual record of the proceedings, attempted to change the petition by adding to it a new charge through a motion for a summary judgment, which was not a lawful move.
  3. Point III.  That the Petition fails to state a claim in attorney misconduct, and that Petitioner conceded that Charge IV (failure to pay fines) is moot.
  4. Point IV.  That Charge I Specification I (charging me for not practicing law on behalf of "clients" in 2008 when I was not an attorney and was not allowed to practice law) must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and with imposition of sanctions upon the Petitioner and its attorneys. 
  5. Point V.  Unavailability of collateral estoppel in regards to Judge Becker's sanctions for frivolous conduct because Judge Becker positioned himself as a victim of my alleged harassment and thus disqualified himself from imposing sanctions as a matter of law, and because of the difference between the rules of frivolous conduct in court proceedings, 22 NYCRR Article 130, and in attorney disciplinary proceedings, 22 NYCRR 1200.
  6. Point VI.  That the standard of proof in attorney disciplinary proceedings by preponderance of the evidence violates my right to due process and equal protection of laws, as compared to the rules of private discipline and rules of reinstatement requiring the standard of proof of clear and convincing evidence.
  7. Point VII.  That there is new evidence indicating that sanctions imposed upon me by Judge Becker which are the basis of the proceeding are part of unconstitutional abuse of power and retaliation by Judge Becker in violation of my due process and 1st Amendment rights which preclude application of collateral estoppel, and such evidence was not and could not be reviewed by any court before the disciplinary court.
  8. Point VIII.  That my right to criticize the judiciary in court proceedings on behalf of myself and my clients is fully protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and its freedom of speech, freedom of association and petitions clauses, and specifically, that viewpoint and subject matter discrimination, especially discrimination based on viewpoint and subject matter of grave public concern, is unconstitutional.
  9. That new developments in the law precluded application of collateral estoppel, such as:
    1. De facto overruling by Judge Becker of his own decision that a motion to challenge his legality as a judge was frivolous;
    2. De facto overruling by the Appellate Division 3rd Department as to whether my arguments in Shields v. Carbone were frivolous, in a later decided appeal in People v. Carbone, with similar arguments but no sanctions;
    3. De facto overruling by Judge Becker of Shields v. Carbone in the later decided by him Martens v. Neroni where he recognized that I was not an attorney at the time of DEC proceedings that he used in Shields v. Carbone as a basis for sanctions against me, in Martens v. Neroni Judge Becker recognized that I was never fined by the DEC Commissioner, contrary to what he said in Shields v. Carbone as a basis for imposition of sanctions against me;
    4. A reversal in an administrative proceedings in Orange County in 2012 that affected the basis of Judge Becker's decision on sanctions in Family Court in 2011 and in the proceedings that exposed undisclosed disqualification of Judge Becker in Family Court proceedings;
    5. A reversal in another related administrative proceeding that affected the basis of Judge Becker's decision in Family Court;
    6. The decision of Judge Becker in Family Court of 2010 that was partially overruled by factual findings in Pennsylvania in September of 2012;
    7. The partial partial reversal and remand on appeal in Neroni v. Becker in federal court that undermined the basis of Judge Becker's sanctions;
    8. A new precedent on misconduct of judges in New  York providing for taking judges off the bench for exactly the same conduct as Judge Becker engaged in in the proceedings where he sanctioned me;

These are the points of my cross-motion that the court denied without an explanation or reasoning, and the second time, after I asked for a reasoned decision as a matter of due process of law, in my motion to vacate, renew and reargue as of right, with an anti-filing injunction and sealing order:

  1. That the Petitioner and its attorneys (at the time I made the cross-motion the Petitioner was the Professional Conduct Committee of the NYS Appellate Division 3rd Department) should be disqualified from proceeding and that the petition should be dismissed for grievous prosecutorial misconduct.
    1. Fraudulent Charge I Specification I attempting to discipline me for NOT committing a crime of practicing law without a license in 2008;
    2. Fraudulent Charge IV charging me for not paying the sanctions as of January 29, 2013 (the filing date of the Petition) while the sanctions were paid into the court escrow in the summer of 2011;
  2. That attorney discipline is selectively enforced in New York and is not enforced at all against politically connected attorneys and attorneys related to judges, with examples:
    1. Non-prosecution of the wife of Richard Sise, Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Claims, and acceptance of Ms. Cornelia Cahill into Hiscock & Barclay, her disciplinary prosecutor's firm, as a partner;
    2. Non-prosecution of attorneys - New York State Senators - involved in self-interested voting which protects the market of legal services and puts the legal profession into disrepute;
    3. Non-prosecution of attorneys employed full-time in public service for using taxpayer-paid time for private practice, examples were:
      1. Ellen Coccoma, wife of Chief Administrative Judge of Upstate New York Michael V.Coccoma who, while being a full-time Otsego County Attorney, is involved in private practice during her taxpayer-paid time;
      2. Porter Kirkwood (now running for the seat of Delaware County Judge) who, while being a full time Assistant County Attorney in Delaware County, maintained a private law practice and represented clients during taxpayer-paid time and in conflict with his public employment
    4. Non-prosecution of attorney Stephen Coffey, former Vice Chair of the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct, for his threats of criminal prosecution against anybody who would touch "his" bail money, when his law firm was fired before final disposition of a criminal case.  Attorney Coffey or his law firm lost on two appeals, refused to return the money for years despite two court orders, and was never disciplined for that misconduct.  Karen Peters is the Chief Judge of my initial disciplinary court, was on the same Commission for Judicial Conduct with Mr. Coffee, did not disqualify herself while reviewing complaints against her own courts, same as Mr. Coffee did not disqualify himself while reviewing complaints about Judge Becker involving Mr. Coffee's own misconduct.
    5. Non-prosecution of Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup for trading plea bargains for agreements from criminal defendants not to prosecute Richard Northrup in civil court proceedings.
    6. Non-prosecution of attorney and former judge of a justice court Diane Schilling, former counsel for Michael V. Coccoma, who was taken off the bench for attempting to fix another judge's wife's traffic ticket, but was not disciplined as an attorney, was embraced as a partner by a law firm of Anthony Cardona (son of late Judge Cardona, Chief Judge of the NYS Appellate Division 3rd Judicial Department, my initial disciplinary court) and of Amanda Kuryluk, niece of the judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York.  The law firm, after embracing Diane Schilling as a partner, engaged in deceptive advertising of Diane Schilling's virtues, including the fact that she was a judge, while not mentioning that Diane Schilling was taken off the bench for misconduct.
    7. Non-prosecution of Chief Assistant District Attorney and son of a judge Michael Getman, as well as his father, a judge, for engaging in a fraudulent scheme in a non-profit;
    8. Non-prosecution of attorney (now judge) Carl F. Becker for engaging in conflicted representation (representing Delaware County Social Services and a private client who wanted to adopt a child, and creating a false indicated report, now vacated, against another person in a way absolving the private client);
    9. The unwritten policies in all 4 attorney grievance committees in New York not to prosecute prosecutors, as demonstrated by recent publications and investigations in
  3. That licensing of attorneys by the very same branch of the government whose misconduct attorneys are duty-bound to challenge is a violation of the principle of independence of court representatives and human rights defenders, and is undermining democracy in the United States;
  4. I also raised appearance of prosecution against me based on my national origin, as a Russian native and an immigrant attorney.
  5. That Judiciary Law 90 is aimed at unconstitutional stifling of criticism by attorneys against judicial misconduct.
  6. That conflation in the disciplinary court of legislative, executive and judiciary powers disqualifies the court from presiding over the disciplinary proceedings.
  7. That positioning the practice of law as a "privilege" rather than a due process right, is a violation of attorneys' due process of law.
  8. That the court's rulemaking demonstrated bias in favor of disciplinary prosecution where the court put in an elevated standard of proof for private discipline, dropped it down to preponderance of the evidence for public discipline (censure, suspension, disbarment), and then raised it once again for purposes of reinstatement of law licenses.
  9. That certain specific instances of bias and misconduct of the 3rd Department Court and its judges against me and my husband disqualified the court from presiding over my disciplinary case.
  10. That here is a clear potential of retaliation against me by the 3rd Department court because of my continuing inquiry as to appointment of judges and judicial hearing officers into that court.
  11. That there is an appearance of impropriety where 22 NYCRR 122 provides a possibility of financial influence over judges of the Appellate Divisions by Michael V. Coccoma whose wife Mr. Neroni was suing at the moment and I was asking the court to sanction for frivolous conduct.  The 3rd Department recused from reviewing this issue in my disciplinary action, but still resolved the issue, in favor of Ellen Coccoma, in another action, Kilmer v. Moseman, in January of 2015.
  12. That I ask the court to recuse because I already made the case of my political persecution under the guise of disciplinary prosecution public, through this blog.
  13. That Judge Becker is unfit for the bench, based on multiple lawsuits against him (only some of them were mine or my husband's) raising serious issues of misconduct.

Apparently, all of the above issues, issues of serious public concern, were too explosive to be given public access, so the court decided to seal the proceedings, without any basis in law for doing that, and the new Petitioner, the 4th Department's Attorney Grievance Committee, is now trying to put me in jail for publicly addressing these issues of grievous public concern.

But - these issues must be addressed.  And I insist they should be addressed.  And I insist the public should know how these issues are addressed by courts.

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