"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, June 22, 2015

Judge Kevin Dowd was supposed to be at work on April 6, 2015, but he wasn't. The court administration refuses to say, why. It's time to demand judges to submit timesheets and justifications for no-shows at work.

The transcript of the ex parte trial of the Mokay case that I have been describing for the last several days contains statements of Judge Kevin Dowd made on April 7, 2015, as follows:

So, on April 7, 2015 Judge Dowd claimed that he was in Virginia for the last 10 days before April 7, 2015, which means, he was in Virginia since March 27, 2015.

Vacation schedule received from the New York State Court administration through a FOIL request (judge's chambers ignored my request for the same) for the year 2015 are:

On Monday, April 6, 2015, on behalf of Judge Dowd, his law clerk Claudette Newman issued an order indicating to me that the judge does not recognize (without seeing me) my lawful medical leave issued by my physician after he saw me in person - even though the judge did not see me and did not see my injury.

Moreover, Claudette Newman threatened me in an e-mail that "the court" will use "legal means to secure my attendance", whatever that meant, if I dare not to appear (read: if I dare to be bedridden and unable to appear because of the pain caused by my diagnosed injury - which I was the next day).

Yet, the next day, on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Judge Dowd makes a statement that he communicated with his law clerk about my medical excuse from work filed "on Monday" while driving from Virginia.

Since I provided the medical excuse from my physician to the court on Monday, April 6, 2015, the Monday the judge is talking about is Monday, April 6, 2015.

According to the judge's vacation schedule, the judge was supposed to be at work on that day, since his vacation ended on April 3, 2015.

Yet, the judge, according to his admission on record, was driving from Virginia on that day and his law clerk was issuing orders instead of him while he was still vacationing in Virginia.

I FOILed the NYS Court Administration for records justifying Judge Dowd's absence on April 6, 2015.

First, the representative of the NYS Court Administration tried to give me a run-around claiming that records I was asking for are not eligible for FOIL.

After I explained to that representative (name is Shawn Kerby) that I am absolutely entitle to receive through FOIL copies of public record showing why a public servant was not at work on a certain day - whether they are time-sheets, vacation records or any other records explaining the absence - Shawn Kerby relented and told me that NYS Court Administration has NO records on file showing why Judge Dowd was still vacationing in Virginia when he was supposed to be in office and while his law clerk Claudette Newman was issuing decisions through e-mail on his behalf.

This behavior of a judge raise many questions.

One of them I am asking as a taxpayer:  this judge claimed in another transcript that I read, in another case, that he is being paid "meager bucks" to do his judicial job.

The meager bucks of Kevin Dowd reported by in 2014 were:

base salary - $174,000
received - $172,300

$174,000 per year translates (with all holdays and vacations) in approximately 252 working days, at $690.48 per day.

The judge certainly cannot be "deemed" in office when he is miles away from office coming from a vacation.

The judge was not in office in the afternoon of April 6, 2015, by his own admission on record in the Mokay case.

The court administration does not have records explaining why Judge Dowd was not in office on April 6, 2015.

Thus, Judge Dowd did not show up to work on April 6, 2015 without a legitimate reason.

His law clerk, without ever explaining to me that the judge is actually on a vacation and cannot issue any orders, issued a lot of orders while the judge was on a vacation, including the rejection of my medical leave and the threat of "securing my attendance" at trial, even though I was injured and in pain on April 6, 2015.

As a taxpayer, I demand that Judge Dowd is not paid for April 6, 2015.

As a taxpayer, a citizen and a member of the public, I demand that judges submit timesheets and, if they do not show up at work, they must submit an explanation, available to the public through FOIL requests, as to why a certain judge, a public servant, paid nearly $200,000, allows himself not to show up at work without a proper justification.

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