"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, April 1, 2015

A complaint has been filed against Judges Kevin M. Dowd of Chenango County Supreme Court and against Joseph F. Cawley of Broome County Court

A defense counsel receives evidence from plaintiffs' counsel, on the eve of a jury trial, that the judge and his personnel are witnesses in the case.

The defense counsel subpoenas the judge and his personnel as witnesses at the trial.

The judge (Judge Dowd) refuses to recuse and continues to control evidence and interfere with subpoening witnesses to prevent impeachment of credibility of Plaintiffs' evidence.

In order to do that, Judge Dowd accepts filings of letters instead of affidavits from politically connected attorneys directly into his chambers, while the court may not review any submissions in the nature of motions unless they are first filed in the county clerk's office of the county where the case is litigated.

I have evidence showing that nothing has been filed in the county, yet Judge Dowd accepted letters-in-lieu-of-pleadings by fax and mail directly into his chambers and relied upon such papers, even though, once again, Judge Dowd had no authority to review any pleadings or papers filed in substitution of pleadings that were not filed first with the county clerk's office.

Judge Dowd also involved another judge, Judge Joseph F. Cawley of the Broome County Court, in his wrongdoing.

Apparently, communicating with a judge who has been called as a witness in a proceeding, tainted Judge Cawley and made him a witness in the same proceedings.

Moreover, transfer of files to Judge Cawley in support of the "Order to Show Cause" that Judge Cawley signed while Judge Dowd remained on the case and while there is no order of assignment of Judge Cawley to the case, was done "chambers-to-chambers", without initial filing with the Delaware County Clerk's office, and without return of the files by Judge Dowd back to the court clerk to be transferred to another judge.

Apparently, no procedural constraints exist when judges want to protect somebody's misconduct, including their own.

Well, hopefully, the NYS Commission of Judicial Conduct must investigate now.  If they do not, I will simply include Judge Dowd's and Judge Cawley's misconduct into the case study of judicial misconduct in my upcoming book on the subject.

Litigants and attorneys appearing in front of Judge Dowd! Be on the alert as to how the judge accepts filings from your opponents, especially if your attorneys are well-connected attorneys who the judge appears to favor.   I would suggest always checking with the County Clerk of the county where your case is litigated (if you are in the Supreme Court).  This judge has a pattern of bypassing the law on filing with attorneys he favors.

Voters, when Judge Cawley comes up for re-election, note that he is only luring you with promises of how good and law-abiding he is up until he gets on that bench.  Then, apparently, what another judge (witness in the proceedings) directs him to do, controls.


  1. As an 'ordinary' citizen, how can judges be allowed to be above the law? Who judges judges?
    Our society depends on truth and fairness for all people and while we are far from this, it is disturbing we are moving in the wrong direction. I've been a nurse 35+ yrs, and everyone knows if you want to know who the best doctors are...ask a nurse. The same can be said for courtrooms, ask a lawyer who a good judge is.

  2. Very true, thank you for your observation! That's exactly why I put as a quotation on top of this blog the statement of a Pennsylvania judge made in 1880 that lawyers more, not less, than anybody else, should be allowed to inform the public about problems with judicial integrity and competence. Judge Dowd is not only out of control, but he also appears to have a mental disability, which nobody wants to address. I have a transcript where, out of the blue, he started to rant, on record, while discussing a child custody and visitation arrangement, about a URINAL MADE IN HIS HONOR in some law school. I was not an attorney of record during those proceedings, I only read it after the fact, when I took the case. Attorneys who were present, swallowed this mental unraveling... Dowd remained on the bench, and still does, for many years and is presiding over Family court, civil and criminal proceedings.

  3. I have appeared in front of Judge Dowd a number of times, both in court and in his chambers. He always seems to be even tempered. In judicial classes taught in SUNY Morrisville in Norwich, he is known as a "hanging judge." I have never found much fault with his temperament, but I do take issue with his knowledge of the law. I had asked him a legal question while in his office, his reply was, "I don't know, ask my secretary, she knows more than me." (Not very encouraging) Apparently, she does.

    Although in the cases that I have prepped and in which I submitted overwhelming evidence and case law for the defendant, he always finds against us. Our only hope is the court of appeals where cases such as ours have been overturned on a number of occasions. I always heard that judges do not liked to be overturned, but Dowd does not seem to be one of them.

  4. Hanging judge - definitely. Even-tempered - not based on my own and my clients' experience. I just posted today scans from Dowd's argument in a civil rights appeal. He considers it his right to use force against litigants and remove them from the courthouse for "disruptive behavior", simply for motions to recuse him.

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  6. The justice system is a system that demands integrity and a higher standard of accountability. People really need to demand truth and fairness in the Judiciary and all avenues of law enforcement. I got to say, it's a sorry commentary where the US Supreme Court attributes the practice of police lying on affidavits submitted for warrants and lying, for their own benefits to the Grand Jury as a p-art of todays "subculture. Like the act of Testilying, what is frequently mentioned with police testimony. You than have Judges who are charged with the duty to distribute Justice , with an even hand. HA...anyone thats been involved in small town justice knows that is not even an option, so you may as well forget that. We have judges that are not required to even know the laws they sit in judgement of. Local judges are required to take a 6 hour internet course IF elected. A person only needs a 5 hour course to drive. WAKE UP PEOPLE, our Constitution GUARANTEES us certain rights and protections,,,from whom, from unwarranted GOVERNMENT INTRUSION in to our lives. The drafters of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was right on the money with the protections they put in play for us, and US means WE, the PEOPLE...everytime you, me, us allow a right to be taken from someone else, because we don t say or do anything because that particular right don t app;ly to us, but it does, the next one will too