"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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The pervasive problem of institutional bias in courts and invisible evidence in favor of "their own" and its perpetrators

A couple of days ago I ran a blog post on the sidewalk video footage of statements from people who were not allowed to testify at the secret public hearings of the New York State Statewide Commission for Attorney discipline.  

It was a sidewalk footage because the Commission's representative, contrary to the requirements of the Open Meetings Law (to expect from a bunch of high-ranking lawyers to abide by the law is too much to expect, I guess), asked the reporter to leave not only the room, he did not even get there, but even the building where the "public" hearing was scheduled to be held, and to disappear even from the sidewalk.

Good for the reporter that he did not disappear from the sidewalk and instead suggested that the Commission can try to call the police to remove him - which, of course, did not happen.  High-ranking attorneys know the law they are breaking and know when they are breaking too much, when their breaking the law is against people who have no recourse and when they are asking for a civil rights lawsuit for a 1st Amendment violation, with money damages.

I already covered a lot of statements made in that video footage.

One statement that I did not cover keeps coming back to me, and I decided to run a separate blog post on it.

A lady, an attorney's wife, was speaking about her divorce proceedings (from that attorney) that is lasting for 6 years where the court does not seem to see evidence of her husband's income (for purposes of equitable distribution), while the husband is an attorney practicing in New York State Supreme Court and his cases generating income (that should be joint income for both of them, to be distributed) documented in the E-track system of New York courts.

Many readers who are not married to attorneys were writing and calling me, as a feedback to my blogs about intellectual dishonesty of judges (with documentary evidence), to complain that certain evidence submitted by them to courts was either not taken into account or misrepresented by the courts.  

One judge featured in the interlinked blog already retired from the bench 3.5 years before his term (looks like running to me) and the other is still on the bench but is defending against a 2nd lawsuit by a female court employee for discrimination and retaliation, so maybe the NYS Commission will finally take its head from where it is and make sure he leaves the bench or is taken off the bench (the second one a more preferable scenario, to be fair to Judge Tormey's victims).

Here is the list from of all lawsuits against Judge James C. Tormey, by the way - most are "closed", dismissed based on the concept of "absolute judicial immunity" which should not preclude a disciplinary investigation - but in New York State, nothing is done to a judge if the judge is high enough and has good enough connections.

In the remaining pending lawsuit by Nancy Rodriguez Walker against Judge Tormey, where you, my dear New Yorkers, are footing the bill for legal defense of Judge Tormey against claims of intentional misconduct in office and where Judge Tormey is represented, instead of prosecuted, by the New York State Attorney General's office at your expense, and where the plaintiff conspicously is represented by attorneys outside of the area of Judge Tormey's administrative reach (Tormey is the Chief Administrative Judge of the 5th Judicial District), Judge Tormey's motion to dismiss "for failure to state a claim" is pending.  At the taxpayers' expense, remember.  Since the presiding judge is the "closer" Lawrence Kahn, and since courts habitually extend judicial immunity far beyond its breaking point, I will hold my breath on that.  

I also note that one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff left during the pendence of the motion.  I wonder whether any intimidation behind the scenes was taking place, like it was taking place with me when I was litigating federal lawsuits against judges.

Judge Tormey is a master when invisible evidence is concerned.  He managed not to notice an entire court proceeding reflected in the court's record when ruling in a case based on comparison of two lawsuits - between the two of them, Judge Tormey saw only one, and adamantly refused to correct his obvious mistakes.

Such things happened to me also, on a systematic basis, with the following slant:

  • usually evidence was ignored or misrepresented when a party or attorney affiliated with the judiciary or other branch of the government (usually a high-ranking official) was on the other side.
Do I recognize that the problem exists?  I do.

Does the system recognize that such a problem of the so-called institutional judicial bias to "their own" and against "their own" exists?

Not that I heard of, not in court decisions and not in "findings" of any Commissions.

What should be done about it?  A reform of the court system which WILL NOT happen through any "statewide commissions" and will not happen even through the Legislature, because the Legislature is run by elite lawyers who benefit from the "hidden evidence" and slanted rulings of judges.  They will not allow through any laws that will hurt them.

Changes can be obtained only through direct voting at a Constitutional referendum.  A Constitutional convention for such a referendum is coming up in 2017.  Be an active voter.  Advance issues for that convention and the ensuing referendum (I will).

We need to finally recall who is the sovereign in this country and in the State of New York 

(I was punished by Chief Judge Gary Sharpe of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York for quoting to him the law stating that the People and not the government is the sovereign in the U.S. and in New York, the appellate court affirmed the sanction) - 

and we need to act like we are sovereigns and bad judges are bad servants subject to booting and replacement, and make sure that efficient laws efficiently enforced are in place to make that happen.

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