"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, August 14, 2015

More and more books on corruption in courts are published

Recently, several books were published on the issue of judicial corruption and misconduct, despite vicious retaliation against such critics by the judiciary.  I keep track of such books and am honored to be able to recommend them to the public.  Please, note that the list is not exhaustive.  I will be supplementing it from time to time, recommending more books to the public.

I am not paid to make these recommendations to the public, nor did any of the authors or their representatives ask me to recommend such books, it is my personal initiative, since I think these books are deserving of public attention.

Date of publication

About the book and its author

Barbara C. Johnson
Behind the black robes – failed justice

August 24, 2009

A personal story by an attorney disbarred for, apparently, whistleblowing regarding judicial misconduct and attempt to run for governor on a platform to clean the courts of the State of Massachusetts of corruption

Includes great analysis of federal civil rights litigation, including the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the No. 1 tool of federal courts to clean their dockets of civil rights cases

John F. Molloy
The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion

June 14, 2011
Late retired judge, describes mechanisms of collusion and connections between influential attorneys and judges
William Ecenbarger
Kids for Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme

October 23, 2012
A Pulitzer Prize winner, former editor and reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer describes the corruption scandal in Pennsylvania where two judges were sentencing juveniles to detention in exchange for bribes from a privately run juvenile detention facility.

Carrol D. Kilgore
Judicial Tyranny: On the Integrity of the Federal Judiciary
November 11, 2012

Retired attorney with over 40 years of experience, former federal prosecutor analyzes in detail unlawful actions of federal courts committed systematically, as a matter of policy

Susan Settenbrino
Unchecked Power Guide: The New York State Court System: A Look at the Entrenched Power, Politics, & Over $2 Billion of NY State Funding - Compromising JUSTICE - for "JUST US"

June 6, 2014

A whistleblower attorney, a former prosecutor, exposes corruption in judicial elections in New York, naming names and episodes of corruption
Robert Grundstein
Bad Minds, High Places

January 29, 2015
A whistleblower attorney disbarred for retaliation describes his ordeal, and gives a precise analysis of various ways in which courts in states of Ohio, Washington and (to a lesser degree) Vermont violate litigants’ rights based on partisan connections and collusion with local favored attorneys, political contributors to judges.

Great analysis of unconstitutionality of anti-filing injunctions which are increasingly imposed by courts throughout the U.S. upon pro se litigants.

It is interesting to mention that only one author covering corruption from this list is a non-insider, a professional reporter - that is the author of the book about the "Kids for Cash" scandal.

I must add that both judge who were convicted be federal court for taking kickbacks relating to the "Kids for Cash" scandal were referred to disciplinary authorities of the State of Pennsylvania, and escaped undisciplined, until the feds went after them, prosecuted and had them convicted for corruption.

Nobody was interested in publishing victims' stories until the case received overwhelming media attention due to criminal prosecution and conviction of these judges.

Other authors are insiders of the legal system.

The late John F. Molloy was a retired judge who knew insides and outs of the politics of interaction of the judiciary with local politically connected counsel and who felt the need to reveal those inappropriate connections and collusions only after he left the bench and retired from the practice of law, having amassed all financial benefits from both prior to starting his revelations.

The late Carrol D. Kilgore was a retired attorney and former federal prosecutor who published his book "Judicial Tyranny" only after he retired from the practice of law.

Attorneys Barbara C. Johnson and Robert Grundstein published their accounts of judicial retaliation after their law licenses were revoked.

New York attorney Susan Settenbrino does not have a mailing address on her registration information  on the website of the New York State Unified Court System, which indicates that she does not practice law at this time.

All of the books from the list but one, written by a professional reporter, contain scathing and precise analysis by legally trained insiders of the "justice" system throughout the U.S.  Yet, despite the self-anointing by the legal profession, and especially the judiciary as the "honorable" professions, somehow the only accounts of judicial retaliation and misconduct surface when the insiders of the court system leave the practice of law for a variety of reasons.

Such statistics are only confirming that attorneys have a reason to fear retaliation if they criticize judicial misconduct while they continue to practice law.  And that is disturbing, because judges are supposed to be above such petty behavior as retaliation for criticism and are supposed to have been elected and selected for their even temperament allowing them to stomach criticism without exacting revenge against the critics.

I highly recommend all the above books.  They are painstakingly written, are all very good reads, and contain useful information on the topic that is usually under the public radar.

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