"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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Trial rules of Judge Kevin Dowd: jurisdiction on damages may be never-ending, for the right kind of attorney

As I stated in my previous post, Judge Kevin Dowd creates his own law and his own rules in "his own courtroom", disregarding existing rules and existing law as "brouhaha" (his words in the transcript of the Mokay trial about my legal argument asking the court to follow the rules).

One of the most interesting trial rules of Judge Kevin Dowd is that Kevin Dowd considers a trial on damages in a civil case to be a continuous thing.

In the ex parte trial on damages and in his decision as to that ex parte trial, Kevin Dowd stated the following:

(1) Judge Kevin Dowd ended the trial on April 7, 2015, but allowed post-trial evidentiary submissions, accepted post-trial evidentiary submissions on May 8, 2015 and relied upon them in his trial decision;


(2) Judge Kevin Dowd gave the plaintiffs "leave" for continued jurisdiction of the court for future "applications" for more damages, after the trial on damages has ended;

(3) Judge Kevin Dowd gave the plaintiffs "leave" to apply for damages not in another trial, but through a motion. 

None of these "rules" comply with existing New York state law that requires that the issue of damages be tried, and tried in one single trial.

Judge Dowd apparently is involved in legal innovation - he created the concept of unending jurisdiction of the court on the issue of money damages where the only damages claimed are legal fees of politically connected attorneys, such as the son of a judge Richard Harlem (also the landlord to New York Senator James Seward).

So, litigants and counsel, beware of this rule - especially if you feel and have evidence, like I do, that Judge Dowd dislikes you or your client.  In my case, Judge Dowd "dislikes" me to the point of not believing medical diagnosis of my injury, holding a trial despite of medical leave documents submitted to the court, in my presence as attorney of record and attempting to punish me for not appearing at trial while injured and on a legitimate medical leave. 

Publication of trial rules of Judge Kevin Dowd will continue and may in the future be published in a separate book.

Stay tuned.

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