"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, July 26, 2015

New York State Attorney General should pay attention to competence of his "assistants"

One more example that NYS Attorney General and his "assistant attorneys general" are wasting taxpayer money (including my money).

An "Assistant Attorney General" Kenneth Gellhaus, admitted to practice law in 1987 (28 years ago) has sent me a letter requiring me to "provide me with a physical location of your New York office in which you transact your legal business as a New York attorney".

How NYS AG can declare a default in a case where an Answer was filed in 2008 and representation was uninterrupted, nobody knows.

Mr. Gellhaus got so fired up because his office languished in prosecuting a case against my client for 7 (!) years - and I happened to remind him of that fact.  So, Mr. Gellhaus became all personal and demanded from me what no law allowed him to demand.

In his aggressive attack against me attempting to oust me from a case, Mr. Gellhaus relied upon NYS Judiciary Law 470 that requires "nonresident" attorneys to maintain a physical office in the State of New York, which was - guess what? - declared unconstitutional by a federal court 4 years ago, which declaration was not overruled (at least as yet) on appeal.

Judiciary Law 470 was amended by New York State Legislature on February 15, 2014, 2.5 years after the ruling in Schoenefeld v New York (above), and now it is as follows:

In an attempt to outsmart itself, the New York Legislature, noting that Ms. Schonefeld resided in an "adjoining state" (New Jersey), magnanimously allowed "nonresident" attorneys without an office to reside in "adjoining states" only.

It did not make much sense, because the appellant in the appeal from the decision in Shoenefeld v New York was not Ms. Shoenefeld, and mooting their own appeal for the State of New York was not the smartest thing to do, when such mooting does not cancel the determination of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Ms. Shoenefeld's case, which was much broader than addressing discrimination of New York against "non-resident" attorneys only from "adjoining" states.

Yet, that is exactly what Mr. Gellhaus points out to me by stating that South Carolina where, he presumes from my P.O Box mailing address, I now exclusively reside (which is not true, because I have residences in New York state), is not "adjoining" the state of New York.

It is not.  But whether South Carolina where I reside IN ADDITION to residing in the State of New York, is adjoining the State of New York or not, is irrelevant to the decision in Schoenefeld v. New York:

Once again, the federal court in Schoenefeld v New York clearly indicated that it declares the statute unconstitutional not only towards Ms. Schonefeld (one attorney), but against "nonresident attorneyS" (plural, many attorneys), because of the statute's discrimination, in violation of Privileges and Immunities Clause.  Once again, the protected class here is "nonresident attorneyS", not "nonresident attorneys from adjoining states" only.  

So, New York's amendment of Judiciary Law 470 did not cure the constitutional defect that caused the statute to be stricken by the federal court.

Further, Mr. Gellhaus presumed that because I have a temporary mailing address outside of the State of New York, I am (1) a "nonresident" attorney and (2) am answerable to Mr. Gellhaus as to my physical address in New York "to transact my legal business", which, of course, is not true - as a matter of law - on both counts.

Under New York State law, no attorney has to disclose his or her residential address to litigants, opposing parties and their attorneys, and Mr. Gellhaus knows it very well.

Apparently, Mr. Gellhaus, very possibly, will be mighty frustrated if I happen to demand to know his residential address - in case I want to personally serve him with something, which was the presumed purpose of Judiciary Law 470 (declared unconstitutional 4 years ago by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in the case Schoenefeld v. New York, on 9/7/11).  Yet, he permits himself to demand such intrusive information from me. 

I've written in this blog time and again - when will our public servants LEARN TO READ?  Even the cases handled by their own office, such as Schoenefeld v. New York?

This is, alas, the competency level of our public servants in the State of New York...  And it is taxpayers' business to change that.  Soon.

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