"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, September 17, 2015

Will Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl prosecute his own subordinate, Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Getman for aiding and abetting (and profiting by) unauthorized practice of law in his own jurisdiction as a prosecutor?

In the previous post, I cited to the ruling of New York State Appellate Division Second Department ruled that when a paralegal drafts legal papers, that constitutes a crime of Unauthorized Practice of Law, in violation of Judiciary Law 478.

Since Judiciary Law 478 is a criminal statute applying to "any natural person", it should be identity-blind and should apply equally to a person who never had a law license, as well as to a person who lost that law license through suspension or disbarment.

It is an established fact, as a matter of law, through an Affirmation under oath and through the testimony under oath in Delaware County Supreme Court on June 23, 2014 of attorney Richard Harlem, with an office in Oneonta, NY, Otsego County, that Richard Harlem's employee Patrick Orr who is not licensed to practice law in the State of New York, engaged in what the 2nd Department considered a violation of Judiciary law 478, working as a paralegal and, while being a paralegal, drafting legal papers.

So, it is an established fact, in view of the case "Matter of Brandes" decided by the 2nd Department on June 3, 2015,  that Richard Harlem, as of June 23, 2014, violated criminal law, Judiciary Law 478, by aiding and abetting unauthorized practice of law, in violation of the same statute, Judiciary Law 478, by Richard Harlem's paralegal Patrick Orr.

These crimes were committed by Richard Harlem and Patrick Orr, as established by Richard Harlem's sworn testimony in court, in Otsego County, where Richard Harlem's law office is located.

That is the jurisdiction of the Otsego County District Attorney.

The Chief Assistant District Attorney of Otsego County Michael Getman

drawing the salary (according to of $51,439 a year, which requires him to dedicate all business hours to taxpayers' business and not his own private practice, does have an active private practice, and represents a private client in the same case where Richard Harlem testified about him and his paralegal Patrick Orr engaging in the crime of unauthorized practice of law.

Even though Michael Getman was not personally present at the hearing of June 23, 2014 where Richard Harlem admitted under oath in engaging his employee Patrick Orr in the crime of unauthorized practice of law, when I filed an appeal of Judge Dowd's decision, I personally served Michael Getman on September 30, 2014, as an attorney of record in that case, with the transcript of Richard Harlem's testimony, as well as a Notice of Stipulation to that transcript.

Since Michael Getman did not respond with objections to the transcript within 15 days after being served, as a matter of law he waived those objections.

So, Chief Assistant District Attorney of Otsego County Michael Getman was notified by me as of September 30, 2014, by being served with he transcript of testimony of attorney Richard Harlem, that Richard Harlem and his paralegal Patrick Orr were engaged in aiding and abetting unauthorized practice of law/UPL (Richard Harlem) and UPL itself (Patrick Orr).

What did Chief Assistant District Attorney of Otsego County Michael Getman, drawing taxpayer-paid salary of $51,439 do when he was notified and was provided irrebuttable evidence that Richard Harlem and Patrick Orr committed crimes in Michael Getman's jurisdiction as a criminal prosecutor?

Did he prosecute these two individuals?  Oh, no.

Instead, Michael Getman, during his taxpayer-paid time, appeared in court in Delhi, NY, while his prosecutorial office is in Cooperstown, NY, 1.5 hours' drive from Delhi, NY, on April 7, 2015, nearly one year into the 2-year statute of limitations for the misdemeanors committed by Richard Harlem and Patrick Orr:

And what did the Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Getman did in Delhi court on taxpayer-paid time?  What did he say?

Here is what he said:

Michael Getman told the court that his client's interest is "aligned" with the interests of Richard Harlem and his clients.

That was because Richard Harlem was representing the Estate of Andrew Mokay, and Michael Getman's client was the beneficiary of that Estate and made a claim against that Estate, so anything that the Estate would squeeze out of disbarred-through-a-bribe by Mr. Harlem Frederick J. Neroni would benefit Mr. Getman's private client, and thruogh her, Mr. Getman who will get paid from his client's bounty.

So, did Mr. Getman sell out his prosecutorial discretion not to prosecute Mr. Harlem and his paralegal Patrick Orr for violation of Judiciary Law 478 for a bribe from Mr. Harlem?  Yet another bribe for Mr. Harlem who already bribed the law firm of Mr. Neroni's prosecutor John Casey with a lucrative private representation contract into not prosecuting Mr. Harlem (whom Mr. Neroni turned in) and instead disbar Mr. Neroni?

It certainly appears so.

It is not the first time, after all, when Michael Getman engaged in conflicts of interest, but escaped without any accountability or discipline.

Here is the settlement by the New York State Attorney General reached in 2002 in regards of misconduct of Michael Getman and his now-late father, retired judge Frank Getman in regards to self-dealing in a charity.  I put in just a scan about what Michael Getman got out of the settlement:

Since Michael Getman escaped without any discipline - and I personally turned him into the Committee for Professional Conduct in the Third Department who tossed my complaint without an explanation or record that such complaint even existed (and, as I learnt through a federal court case, the Committee deliberately does not maintain an archive of complaints andof its actions on the complaints), Michael Getman felt free to engage in further conflict of interest.

Now son-of-a-judge Michael Getman aimed higher than mere self-dealing in a charity and sold his prosecutorial discretion to the experienced bidder - yet another son-of-a-judge Richard Harlem.

He refused to prosecute Richard Harlem and his paralegal Patrick Orr for violation of Judiciary Law 478 (Patrick Orr) and aiding and abetting the same for a profit (Richard Harlem) because, as Michael Getman stated to Judge Dowd on April 7, 2015 on record, his private client's interests are "aligned" with Richard Harlem through her claim agaisnt the Estate in the Surrogate's Court while Richard Harlem's extortion in the Supreme Court in front of "mind-boggled" judge Dowd can land for Michael Getman's client and for Michael Getman a piece of that bounty.

Nice work, Richard Harlem.  You learnt from the best - your father had to disgorge $600,000 that he obtained through self-dealing and unlawful practice of law while being a sitting judge, with Richard Harlem's keen assistance.

Now Richard Harlem corrupted not only one judge - his father, not only one disciplinary prosecutor - John Casey, but also a criminal prosecutor - Michael Getman.

So - will the Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl have the backbone to investigate and prosecute his own Chief Assistant District Attorney for:

  • selling his prosecutorial discretion for a financial benefit to his private client and himself;
  • theft of public money through engagement in a private practice during the hours that he was supposed to work as a public prosecutor?

Time will show, but I am turning in Michael Getman, Richard Harlem and Patrick Orr for criminal prosecution by John Muehl based on their conduct described in this blog post and in the previous one.

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