"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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What is the difference between Sirkin and Hedges? It is a difference between pissing off Tormey and pleasing Tormey in going after Tormey's critics

I wrote in this blog about the disciplinary proceeding in the New York State Commission for judicial conduct against former judge Bryan Hedges, brought against him AFTER he resigned from the bench.

I also wrote in this blog about a retired judge Stephen Sirkin, a referee in my disciplinary case who refused to conduct a court-ordered evidentiary hearing, instead illegally decided a motion in my case (of course, against me), even though the NY State Constitution, Article VI paragraph 4 subsection (b) clearly allows decisions in appellate courts to be made ONLY by a concurrence of three appellate justices, with a quorum of four.

Obviously, Sirkin is not and has never been an appellate judge, cannot single-handedly replace a panel of four appellate justices required for a quorum, and cannot replace a concurrence of three appellate justices in making a decision.

Yet, the same NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct that disciplined Hedges, refused to discipline Sirkin, because, as it was explained to me, Sirkin is no longer a judge, he has retired.

It did not prevent the Commission to go after retired judge Hedges though, on a tip from William Fitzpatrick, a law school roommate and buddy of Judge Tormey, the Chief Administrative Judge of the 5th Judicial District.

William Fitzpatrick appeared to have a personal grudge against Hedges of monetary nature.  According to the papers submitted to the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct, William Fitzpatrick was likely upset that Hedges did not give in to the blackmail by the alleged victim who wanted to get some money from Hedges and split the money with the prosecutor (statements as to that arrangement were submitted as evidence to the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct and is /or at least was, at the time I retrieved it/ publicly available online).

The bottom line is that the difference between non-prosecution of Sirkin and prosecution of Hedges was that Hedges pissed off the Chief Administrative Judge for the 5th Judicial District James Tormey by indicating to a court employee that Tormey was tormenting for refusal to engage in political espionage against a judge and Democratic judicial candidate that she was the target of Tormey's efforts "to get" her.

Of course, a zillion reasons may be brought up as to why Sirkin was not prosecuted and Hedges was.

And, of course, NYS Commission of Judicial Conduct has absolute "discretion" to bring or not to bring disciplinary proceedings against judges - and complainants, according to decisions by courts (self-serving decisions 

So, when Sirkin bent over backwards, to the point of disobeying a clear court order, refused to hold a court-ordered evidentiary hearing for me and issued an unconstitutional "decision" against me - that was pleasing Tormey who was pissed off by my criticism of him in pleadings and bringing out in pleadings and in this blog Tormey's ongoing misconduct that was the subject of at least two lawsuits, one that has cost NY state taxpayers $600,000.00 to settle, not to count legal fees (Tormey got free representation from NY State for 4.5 years defending against charges of misconduct that had nothing to do with his judicial duties).

When Hedges disclosed to the plaintiff against Tormey that she was the target of Tormey's ire, which helped the plaintiff's lawsuit - that pissed of Tormey.

And, by the way, two employees on the disciplinary committee currently prosecuting me are direct subordinates of Tormey who can expect his full ire if they would dare to through out the frivolous petition transferred to them from the 3rd Department.

So, to sum it up, the difference between retired judges Sirkin and Hedges is this:

Sirkin - pleased Tormey by his misconduct against a critic of Tormey - is not prosecuted for misconduct because he is a retired judge, and the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct does not have (allegedly) jurisdiction over him.  Nobody else will discipline Sirkin because his misconduct was on behalf of and at the request of the disciplinary prosecutors, representing a committee with two employees of Tormey.

Hedges - upset Tormey by giving valuable information for the lawsuit of a court employee against Tormey.

And this "distinction" is the sum and substance of the integrity of the judicial disciplinary system in New York.

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