"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, May 27, 2015

Reliance on legal authorities is overrated when the judge's own misconduct is the issue

Many times various judges pointed out to me that simply stating that something is not fair, or not constitutional in my legal opinion as a trained legal expert (which trained legal expert I will remain, by the way, whether the retaliative judicial system will or will not yank my law license) - is not enough, that I must provide legal authorities that would "support" my legal opinion.

That point of view is, of course, erroneous, because any reasonable individual, attorney or not, can have an ability to interpret the U.S. Constitution and claim its protections as a matter of due process of law.

In fact, courts may not amend the U.S. Constitution by interpretation and may not create rights that did not exist before that cannot be directly derived from the U.S. Constitution without the interim interpretation by the courts.

To hold otherwise is to give courts authority they are not given by that same U.S. Constitution.

To hold otherwise is to foreclose even a possibility of having cases of first impression and developing the law.

Yet, ability of anybody, attorney or not, judge or not, to directly interpret the law is not the point I am making now. 

The point I am making now is equality under the law and practicing what the courts preach, when the issue turns on the judge's own misconduct.

In a recent decision, Judge Ferris Lebous of Binghamton, NY, refusing to recuse because it was not him personally, but his chambers engaged in an ex parte communication with a person who WAS opposing counsel at the time before jurisdiction of the court abated due to the death of his client (at the time ex parte communication occurred), provided NO legal authority whatsoever - none - supporting his position that ex parte communications with a judge's "chambers" is not the same as ex parte communication with the judge himself and obviously, not within the prohibition for ex parte communications.

Also, Judge Lebous testified on behalf of my opponents and on his own and his staff behalf in the decision (unsworn testimony, of course) by stating what his rules are, what he allows his staff to communicate with attorneys and parties about - while Judge Lebous did not make a statement that he verified with the staff what the communication was about, and while the billing statements provided to the court clearly indicated that the communication was on the merits of the case and NOT about scheduling.

Once again my husband and I are given to understand that rules created by courts, and laws created by the New York legislature - are not for the courts to abide when we are concerned.

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