"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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Alex Kozinski's litigation saga: the final choice of a judge for Kozinski's case, Judge # 4, an 80-year old A. Wallace Tashima. Will the judicial players in the Kozinski saga be impeached and removed from office or were members of Congress silenced by the movie nights with booze in the 9th Circuit courthouse?

In 2005, Judge Alex Kozinski, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, has authored an article on appearance of judicial impropriety.

Blogs I published in late August of 2015, with documentary evidence, show just how much propriety Judge Kozinski cares about himself.

This post covers the appointment and "service" of the last of the 4 judges (so far) who were appointed to the Kozinski litigation in the Central District of California.

Judges # 1, 2 and 3 recused for reasons I described in separate blogs, for each judge.

This is how judge A. Wallace Tashima was appointed, a judge who has first been appointed to the federal bench in 1980, to the 9th Circuit in 1996, and "assumed senior status" (cleared the path for appointment of another judge while keeping his full salary and benefits) in 2004.

At the time of appointment Judge A. Wallace Tashima was 80 (eighty) years of age.

A good choice and a proper level of energy to handle a class action.

Kozinski could not pick a judge for his case, out of his own subordinates, any better.

Alex Kozinski, as of January 29, 2014 the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, delegated his authority to appoint judges to district courts to his future successor (one must earn the succession, mustn't one?), his subordinate Judge Sidney Thomas, and Judge Sidney Thomas obediently appointed to Judge Kozinski's own case Judge Kozinski's own subordinate at that time, Judge A. Wallace Tashima.

Piece of cake.

Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who obviously did not want to irk his boss Alex Kozinski, did not squeak against such an appointment, which was contrary to the Code of Judicial Conduct - as was already cogently explained in the letter of recusal of the previous judge, and the letter from the Committee on Judicial Code of Conduct.

Instead, Judge A. Wallace Tashima, after Alex Kozinski dropped hints in a public "Key Note Speech" at a conference held for him by his buddy, Professor Arthur Miller's, law school, during the pendency of Alex Kozinski's own lawsuit - that district judges' discretion should not really be trusted with too much money, that plaintiffs' attorneys in class actions lawsuits should similarly not be trusted with too much money - after all of that, Judge A. Wallace Tashima obediently resumed proceedings after the "court-ordered mediation", and then approved the settlement that was agreeable for Kozinski and his wife, while rejecting objections of another objector as "untimely".

At this time, the decision of judge Tashima is being appealed by the rejected objector to - guess - the court where both Judge Kozinski (party to the litigation) and Judge Tashima (the judge who decided the case in the court below) are judges.

The 9th Circuit, headed by Kozinski's "earned" successor Sidney Thomas, did not recuse from the appeal, as it did not recuse previously from assigning judges to Kozinski's case in the court below, in violation of rules of judicial conduct.

Note that no attempts were made by attorneys or parties on appeal to have the case removed to another Circuit court, point out any appearances of impropriety, or have the Circuit court recused from the case.


Everybody is afraid for their law licenses which can fly out the door if they say a word.  So, they stay mum.

By the way, the "mediation order" mentioned in the docket as Docket entry # 5 does not list names of any judges

 - it is a "per curiam" decision of the entire court, which means that it is also the decision of:

  • Alex Kozinski himself - as to his own case; and of
  • A. Wallace Tahima - Kozinski's colleague and the judge in the court below dealing with an appeal from his own decision

Kozinski ceded Chief Judgeship as of December 1, 2014 to Judge Sidney Thomas who has earned his position by obediently keeping the case that had to be transferred out of the 9th Circuit, in the 9th Circuit, which Kozinski calls, in a juvenile fashion, "The Hollywood Circuit".

Yet, it is not Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen.  It is a circus, of the worse kind.  It is an insult to the position of trust that Kozinski, Thomas, Tashima and all judges on the 9th Circuit who allows this appeal to proceed in that Circuit are betraying.

Will Alex Kozinski, Sidney Thomas, A. Wallace Tashima and all other judges of the 9th Circuit (a court that deals with death penalty cases and where each and every judge must be squeaky clean) who condone this perversity of justice be impeached by Congress and removed from office for bad behavior?

Or did Alex Kozinski exercise shrewd foresight and invited Congressmen to his movie-nights-with-booze-in-the-courthouse, so that they are partners in crime and will not say a word?

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