"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, August 10, 2015

A. Gail Prudenti is retiring or running from the bench?

Another interesting abrupt retirement was recently announced.

A. Gail Prudenti, the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York, retired as of July 30, 2015 after 23 years on the bench, to go and work as an administrator for a law school.

It is notable that her new position, as an administrator of a law school, does not involve either judgeship, or the practice of law.

This woman knows the Chief Judge Lippman very well.

Is she retiring because she wants to, or is she running from the bench while investigations against top New York State officials close to Lippman are getting hotter by the day and while the court administration is sued more and more for corruption, misconduct and refusal to comply with Freedom of Information Laws?

In any event, another question arises - who will replace Prudenti?

Michael V. Coccoma?  Coccoma was recently elevated by Lippman as the "chief fiduciary" in the NYS Court Administration, despite lawsuits involving fraud that were dismissed only because of absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts.

It seems that the more corrupt and brazen a judge is in New York (if he got high enough, town justices sometimes get disciplined, justices from the County Court and up nearly never get disciplined) - the better career is offered to him/her.

I already wrote about judges of the two appellate divisions, Leslie Stein of the Appellate Division 3rd Department, and Eugene Fahey of the Appellate Division 4th Department who were elevated to the Court of Appeals after brazen misconduct on the bench.

Prudenti successor is NOT Michael V. Coccoma.

So, at least Coccoma was bypassed on his way up the ladder.

I bet, nobody wanted to promote a judge who has been repeatedly sued for corruption, self-dealing, protectionism of his wife through supervising assignments to her cases as an attorney of judges who are close to retirement, are looking into Coccoma's hand to receive post-retirement perks and who oblige Coccoma in retaliating against his and his wife's critics.


  1. What is the court administration being sued for?

    1. Here is a link to the list of lawsuits against A. Gail Prudenti I obtained for you from

      You can explore each lawsuit on your own on, there are per page fees for that. Some of the lawsuits, as shows, are still pending, in the lower (district) court or in the appellate court.

      I sued A. Gail Prudenti on behalf of clients and on my own behalf, for declaratory judgments regarding constitutionality of certain rules promulgated by the NYS Court Administration, and as to Judge Prudenti's unconstitutional policies of allowing recused judges and judges caught in misconduct to continue presiding over cases of people the judges were clearly targeting for personal reasons.