"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, September 28, 2015

Victims paying their predators for daring to challenge them

In the recent article on, commentator George Leef whom I deeply respect, described the situation where victims of civil asset forfeiture in the State of Arizona are being punished for challenging governmental action in court and made to pay attorney's fees of perpetrators of misconduct against them.

George Leef states that it is completely unacceptable for victims to be punished for challenging perpetrators of misconduct, and that attorney fees should be awarded against the perpetrators, like it is done under the fee-shifting provision of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1988.

Unfortunately, though, Arizona is not the only jurisdiction that punishes victims of governmental abuse for daring to challenge that abuse.

The very same thing has been happening for years in federal courts that transformed the "fee-shifting" statute, 42 U.S.C. 1988 in defendant-feeding and victim-bashing statute, awarding attorney's fees under this statute against civil rights plaintiffs rather than against civil rights defendants.

42 U.S.C. 1988 was enacted in order to help pro se, often indigent or low income, often "unpopular" civil rights plaintiffs with "unpopular" causes of suing the government, which many attorneys are simply afraid to do, to provide a financial incentive to attorneys to represent such clients without any money up front, with an opportunity to be paid by defendants if the case is won, kind of a contingency-basis provision.

Yet, the incentive turns out to nothing when

(1) most of civil rights cases get dismissed due to judge-created restrictions to jurisdiction created outside of federal court's power under Article III of the U.S. Constitution and in usurpation of exclusive Article I power of the U.S. Congress to enact legislation and to amend legislation, including jurisdiction of federal courts.  Thus, civil rights attorneys get nothing under 42 U.S.C. 1988;

(2) moreover, the promise of payment may and very often does turn into a loss for a civil rights attorney, and loss not only of time, but also money, because federal courts, in order to thin out their dockets, apply sanctions against civil rights plaintiffs "for frivolous conduct", for suing the government at all under 42 U.S.C. 1983 when courts created those illegal bars to federal jurisdiction, and award thousands upon thousands of dollars of attorney fees, under the same statute that was supposed to help civil rights plaintiffs, against such civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys.

I was on the receiving end of this treatment multiple times.

After a while, a civil rights attorney inevitably would stop and think whether civil rights litigation is worth it at all if all you get is sanctions and money judgments against you.

Moreover, in my case at one attorney (who is also a judge in a criminal justice court and thus a favorite of the judiciary) obtained sanctions for me from a judge I sued in a completely unrelated case by inciting the judge by saying to him, essentially - she is bad because she sued you, sanction her.  And he did.  And now he is trying to do the same with another set of judges, on appeal.  The name of this winner is Jonathan S. Follender or Arkville, New York.

He obtained a dismissal of a meritorious case and sanctions against me by inciting the already indictable judge James Tormey who was sued by a female court attorney/clerk for discrimination and retaliation, which resulted in a $600,000 settlement, for some inexplicable reason out of taxpayers' pockets, after 4.5 years of litigation, and he is sued now again by yet another female court employee, also for discrimination and retaliation, and, of course, the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct is asleep at the wheel and would not investigate Judge Tormey's misconduct in any of these cases despite all affidavits available that were filed in those cases.

After obtaining sanctions from this judge/woman-hater by saying - "judge, she sued you, get her,", against me as yet another female attorney/victim, Jonathan Follender was inspired that his trick worked.

He is now repeating the trick with an appellate court, openly claiming that, because of my professional activity as a civil rights attorney, and, as a civil rights attorney, am suing the government, which may include courts (as necessary parties where constitutional challenges are involved), and because I included into such lawsuits (necessarily) the appellate court handling the case, the appellate court must sanction me.

Beautiful logic.

And right when I received Follender's appellant's brief asking, once again, another court, to "get her - she sued you", I read George Leef's piece on victim-bashing in Arizona.

In my case, victim-bashing turns into chasing of victim's attorney through courts and sanctioning them over, and over, and over again, for suing judges - by the same judges whom I sued, who have NO authority to decide THEIR OWN cases.

To show that such civil rights plaitniffs-bashing, victim-bashing, and bashing their attorneys, is not just my experience, but a predominant tendency in civil rights litigation, I suggest my readers to consider this law review article.

Which, reflecting the sad reality, states that "The Chill Goes On".

And it will go on until you, my readers, start writing petitions to your representatives in the U.S. Congress to amend 42 U.S.C. 1988, clearly stating that, under no circumstances it can be used against civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys, and that under no circumstances victims of governmental abuse whose cases are dismissed without reaching the merits, on "failure to state a claim" grounds, as well as on various immunities-comities-deferences-abstentions-Rooker/Feldman grounds, should not be sanctioned and made to pay perpetrators' legal fees, nor should civil rights attorneys be so sanctioned, otherwise civil rights litigation will simply die out, as it is already doing.

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