"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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Judge Kevin Dowd's decisions during out of state vacations

In the transcript of the Mokay trial that I received recently, Judge Dowd acknowledges that he was not in the State of New York on the day immediately prior the day of trial, April 7, 2015:

Yet, Judge Dowd's law clerk Claudette Newman never notified me or Mr. Neroni of that fact and transmitted to me alleged instructions of Judge Dowd as if he was in office and not on a vacation, including an alleged order to appear on April 7, 2015 despite a legitimate medical leave from work, and a threat that if I do not so appear, the court will use "legal means" to "secure my attendance".

Very obviously, that threat could not legitimately come from a judge because the judge has no power to overrule a medical diagnosis even when in office.

When the judge is out of office, he has no authority to make any decisions, especially the decision threatening an injured attorney to appear despite her injury, or else her "attendance will be secured".

Yet, for Judge Dowd, he is always a judge, even when on vacation.

The law may differ with Judge Dowd's view on that point, but what is the law to Judge Dowd?

Judge Dowd indirectly acknowledged that he had no power, while on vacation, to issue any orders, by explaining that an Order to Show Cause (that was never submitted, as regular procedure requires, to the clerk of Delaware County before coming to the judge's chambers), was signed by another judge because Judge Dowd was on a vacation. 

Judge Dowd claims that the Order to Show Cause was signed by Judge Cawley "on [Judge Dowd's] behalf".  Yet, the Order to Show Cause says nothing about being signed on Judge Dowd's behalf.

So, in Judge Dowd's mind there are "orders and orders".  Those orders which have to be signed while he is on a vacation, are signed by another judge - recognizing that a judge on a vacation has no authority to ISSUE or sign orders.

Yet, Judge Dowd, without disclosing his "on vacation" status, issued other orders, through his law clerk Claudette Newman, who knew very well that the judge was on a vacation and has no authority to issue any orders.

I am more than sure that Claudette Newman who committed attorney misconduct by transmitting such illegal orders by e-mail, will not be disciplined by the attorney disciplinary committee - because of their unspoken policy not to touch employees of judges.

I FOILed Judge Dowd's vacation schedules and will report them here, and I am turning in Judge Dowd and Claudette Newman for sure - and we will see how the system will stomach this type of misconduct.

Stay tuned.

And - be vigilant when you receive any "instruction", "order" or "direction" from a judge, his secretary or law clerk.  Check if the judge is actually on a vacation at that time.  Because if he is, the order is illegal.

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