"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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

State of New York, leader of the nation


According to studies cited by witnesses who testified in front of the Statewide Commission for Attorney Discipline in New York, New York and Texas are leading the nation in the number of wrongful convictions.

At the public hearings before the Commission witnesses asserted, and members of the Commission tried to deny that the problem of non-enforcement of attorney discipline against prosecutors even exists.

At the same time, New York State Legislature:

1) fights on appeal a lawsuit (Neroni v Zayas) asserting that selective enforcement of attorney discipline exists; and

2) promotes a bill to create an "independent" Commission to deal with prosecutorial misconduct - while attorney grievance committees already have such authorities, but obviously do nothing.

In my view, assertion of these two diametrically opposite directions is frivolous as to the opposition to the appeal - but courts never punish state defendants for frivolous conduct, one more point of selective enforcement.

The District Attorneys' Associations, according to a witness who testified at the Buffalo public hearing before the Commission, "descended upon the Capitol as a bunch of paratroopers" (citing from recollection) in order to prevent creation of such a commission.

From the "brother state" in wrongful convictions, Texas - today's news about yet another prosecutor exposed for committing misconduct, this time by the court (a rarity), but without any sanctions (the usual). 


New York and Texas are not prosecuting its criminal prosecutors for misconduct (hence, more wrongful convictions).


New York does prosecute attorneys who criticize prosecutorial misconduct - and gives them no rights during those proceedings, like no discovery - contrary to 40 other states who do give such discovery rights.


Federal courts dealing with non-prosecution of selective enforcement of attorney discipline in New York make such lawsuits go away, not without "incentives" from the market players, on the alleged grounds that "private citizens have no justicially recognized interest" to make such challenges.


And, finally - New York is leading the nation in exodus of its residents from the State. 

So, people run from New York in droves while criminal prosecutors descend upon the Capitol as a bunch of paratroopers trying to prevent any efforts to enforce laws against law enforcers.  

Any surprises?

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