"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.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Will Monica Duffy be disciplined by her own Professional Conduct Committee (and by herself) for lying to the public at the public hearing before the Statewide Commission for Attorney Discipline

In July of 2015 there was a public hearing in Albany before the Statewide Commission for Attorney Discipline.  The transcript of the hearing was recently posted by the Commission.

At that hearing, Monica Duffy, Chief Counsel of the Professional Conduct Committee, took offense at the testimony of a witness about failure of attorney disciplinary committees across the State of New York to prosecute criminal prosecutors who commit misconduct.

Yet, it is undeniable that such non-enforcement happens - because none of prosecutors who were involved in wrongful convictions in New York were disciplined.

Yet, Monica Duffy made the following speech in front of the public and other members of the Commission:

By making these statements pretending that non-prosecution of criminal prosecutors never happens in the Third and Fourth Departments, Monica Duffy committed attorney misconduct, by interfering with administration of justice and by attempting to avoid reform of her own agency - and, possibly, to avoid discipline for not doing her job properly, the job that pays her, out of taxpayers' pockets, $140,508 (that's the annual rate) per year, and somehow Monica Duffy outdid herself by earning more than her annual rate in 2014 - $143,640 according to
Because it is, once again, obvious that prosecutors who commit misconduct are not prosecuted - because, according to testimony of the Chairman of It Could Happen to You before the same Commission on the same day, according to his own research of over 3,000 wrongful convictions, no prosecutors involved in those wrongful convictions and whose misconduct caused those wrongful convictions, have been publicly disciplined.
I myself turned in prosecutors to 3rd and 4th Departments, including attorneys WORKING FOR THOSE DEPARTMENTS - with zero results.

Monica Duffy did not disclose to the public that her Committee, as well as the Committees for the 4th Department, dismiss complaints AGAINST THEMSELVES - while there is no alternative forums to file complaints against them but with themselves.
And that is, too, a disciplinary violation that goes unaddressed.
Monica Duffy, of course, succeeded in browbeating the witness before the Commission into recanting his testimony about selective nonenforcement of attorney discipline against criminal prosecutors:

After all, Mr. Downs is an attorney and knows that whistleblowers of official misconduct get targeted by disciplinary committees, while prosecutors are protected.

And Mr. Downs would have become such a target, had he not humbly retracted his testimony.

Now Mr. Downs, who dismissed complaints against judges for 28 years of working in the Commission for Judicial Conduct, who co-founded a group that is supposed to help victims of wrongful convictions, obviously considered it a safer path to "absolutely agree" with Monica Duffy who, as the head of a disciplinary committee that DOES NOT prosecute prosecutors (criminal or civil) is one of the REASONS why victims of prosecutorial misconduct do not have closure.

By the way - as committees always claim in attorney disciplinary proceedings, there is NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS in attorney disciplinary proceedings.

So, why didn't Monica Duffy ask Mr. Downs for the lists of prosecutors who were involved in wrongful convictions, to verify whether any of those prosecutors committed their wrongful acts within Monica Duffy's prosecutorial jurisdiction - and why wouldn't she publicly pledge to at least investigate them, and to prosecute them if she finds that their misconduct really resulted in wrongful convictions?

After all, fraud upon the court is a disbarring offense for an attorney, and fraud upon the court does not make a distinction whether the fraud was committed in a civil or a criminal proceeding.


  • why didn't she inquire, as a member of the Commission, 
  • why didn't she ask for the lists of cases and prosecutors, and 
  • why didn't she make such a public pledge?

Because she didn't want to prosecute those powerful prosecutors, especially because many of those prosecutors have since become judges, and judges hold in their hands Monica Duffy's own license and livelihood to the tune of $140,508 a years, with benefits - and Monica Duffy knows firsthand how investigation of a judge may result in losing one's law license, because SHE DOES IT HERSELF - to other people.

Because what she said when she was denying the obvious - that her committee DOES NOT prosecute prosecutors who commit misconduct, or any other well-connected attorneys or attorneys working for the government or having "friendly", familial or political ties with the government - was a lie designed to deceive the public, the lay consumers, and to delay reform of the attorney regulation system, by which Monica Duffy herself profits, at a rate of $140,508 per year, with benefits.

I am going to file yet another complaint against Monica Duffy, for this particular lie - and see WHO and HOW will investigate and prosecute that complaint.

I will keep you informed about the progress of that complaint through this blog.

Stay tuned.

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