"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, October 31, 2015

Carl Mugglin's support of Porter Kirkwood as one of the best attorneys Mugglin knows - a fake

Porter Kirkwood is proud of support he is given by the retired Judge Carl Mugglin who allegedly claimed in Kirkwood's campaign flyers that Porter Kirkwood is allegedly the best attorney Carl Mugglin knows.

Well,  Carl Mugglin's judgment is questionable to begin with, given his sorry record of will-drafting (see Matter of Arthur Kilmer's Estate in Delaware County Surrogate's Court, Kilmer v Moseman in Delaware County Supreme Court where courts and attorneys were battling as to interpretation of the will Carl Mugglin drafted as an attorney); claims that criminal trials and deposition under the threat of criminal prosecution can be held in churches; and that female attorneys dig holes for their female clients if they engage in intellectual efforts.

So, this misogynistic bully who had earlier endorsed Carl Becker as an honest and good judge - which is laughable to all litigants not connected to Carl Becker through family, friends or ties to the County and who has ever crossed his middleschool-bully temper.

Yet, the misogynistic bully Carl Mugglin actually lied to the voters when he claimed that Porter Kirkwood is one of the greatest attorneys he knows.  Here is why.

I analyzed Porter Kirkwood's appellate record, available at the website of the NYS Appellate Division Third Judicial Department.

Here are the results.  I made it initially in a table format, but the table did not fit into the blogger platform.

1/ 26-Dec-02 Matter of Nora M. and others Delaware County Family Court Judge Estes Child neglect petition Delaware County DSS appeal dismissed as moot Mugglin was part of appellate panel Neither won nor lost

2/ 8-May-03 Matter of Jordan E., Juvenile delinquent Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Juvenile delinquency Delaware County Modified on Kirkwood's cross-appeal Mugglin did not participate Won

3/ 12-May-05 Matter of Edward S. v Kelly S. and 2 other proceedings Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Dismissal of petition for modification of custody and visitation based on change of circumstances Client - Delaware County DSS Reversed on the law, petitions reinstated, matter remanded to Family Court Mugglin did not participate won in front of Becker, lost on appeal

4/ 9-Jun-05 Matter of Jessica GG, PINS v Tim Card, juvenile probation officer, Delaware County Delaware County Family court Carl Becker Violation of probation petition for a person in need of supervision (minor) Client - Delaware County probation Department, DSS Reversed, on the law, remanded - the minor was not advised by Becker of her right to remain silent Mugglin participated lost

5/ 7-Jul-05 Matter of Matthew WW. V. John A. Johnson Delaware County Supreme Court, transferred Article 78 proceeding 3rd Department Denial of annulment of an indicated report of child maltreatment Client - William Moon, Delaware County DSS Petition granted, indicated report annulled on insufficient evidence Mugglin did not participate lost

6/ 9-Mar-06 Timothy R. Moon v. Cortland Memorial Hospital Corland County Supreme Court Judge Philip Rumsey The lower court granted summary judgment to the hospital Timothy R. Moon, DSS Commissioner's relative Affirmed, with costs Mugglin did not participate Lost

7/ 22-Feb-07 Jesse L., juvenile delinquent Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Juvenile delinquency Delaware County Affirmed - Mugglin did not participate - won

8/ 29-Nov-07 Matter of Brooke II, alleged to be juvenile delinquent Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Juvenile delinquency Delaware County Modified  Mugglin did not participate won

9/ 1-Apr-10 Matter of Richard S., Michael S. Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Child neglect, having access to own children in violation of order of probation applicable to sex offenders for a non-sex offender Delaware County DSS Affirmed  Mugglin did participate Won

10/ 2-Jun-11 Matter of Skyler R. Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Child abuse proceeding Delaware County DSS appeal dismissed as moot Mugglin did not participate Won before Becker; neither won nor lost on appeal

11/ 2-Jun-11 Matter of Nicole K., permanently neglected child Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Termination of parental rights Delaware County DSS Affirmed Mugglin did not participate won

12/ 14-Jul-11 Matter of Joseph RR. And others Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Child neglect proceeding Delaware County DSS Affirmed  Mugglin did not participate won

13/ 27-Oct-11 Matter of Kimberly Z. Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Child Neglect and abuse proceeding Delaware County DSS affirmed Mugglin did not participate Won

14/ 8-Dec-11 Matter of Riley SS. Delaware County Family Court Carl Becker Child Neglect proceeding Delaware County DSS appeal dismissed as moot Mugglin did not participate Won before Becker; neither won nor lost

15/ 1-Mar-12 Matter of Alexander G. Delaware County Family Court Rita Connerton Dismissal of child neglect petition Delaware County DSS Dismissal affirmed Mugglin did not participate Lost

16/ 13-Dec-12 Barbara O'Sullivan v Mary Bracci Hallock et al Delaware County Supreme Court Carl Becker Wrongful death, elder abuse, fraudulent waste of trust and estate assets Private defendants, including Supervisor of Social Services, sued in individual capacity by his sister Affirmed despite deafult by Kirkwood Mugglin did not participate Won before Becker and on appeal

17/ 17-Oct-13 Delaware County v Leatherstocking Healthcare LLC Delaware County Supreme Court John Lambert breach of contract case Delaware County partially affirmed, partially reversed Mugglin did not participate lost half and won half

Please, note that when Appellate Division affirmed Becker's determinations as a trial judge, it followed its rules of "deferring" to credibility determinations of the trial judge - even if such credibility determinations were based on the judge's representation of witnesses in front of him without the required disclosure of the conflict of interest.

When I raised such conflict of interest, I was immediately charged with child neglect myself, and had to fight frivolous charges - prosecuted by Kirkwood - for two years before they were dismissed.  At the very same time, Porter's son was not charged as a juvenile delinquent for assault on my son on school grounds, an interesting "coincidence".

In his 21 years of experience as an attorney and his claims at the meeting with voters in October of 2015 that he loves appellate work and chose the job in Delaware County because he loves appellate work, he only handled 17 appeal in his lifetime, 2 of them for private clients.  That is less than one appeal per year, a very scanty record for an attorney who claims expertise in appellate work.
Morever, out of those 17 appeals, Kirkwood:

·         Lost outright – 5 appeals, badly, on the law and on insufficient evidence - which spells out his own incompetence in putting a case together;

·         Appeals dismissed as mooted (not a win or loss) – 3 appeals;

·         Won – 8 appeals, all from Carl Becker’s decisions, which is no win at all, but rather evidence of case-fixing by a friend, former boss and the prior attorney for the Department of Social Services of 27 years who engaged in ex parte communications with Porter Kirkwood (I have witness accounts), and intimidated those who raised the issue of impropriety of Carl Becker presiding as a fact-finder over issues of credibility of his clients of 27 years, by sanctions and improper child neglect prosecutions.

·         Lost half and won half – 1 appeal, from Judge Lambert’s decision

As to judges who ruled in the trial court on cases that Porter Kirkwood appealed, it is clear that only local judges favored Kirkwood:




Delaware County Family Court


Won, appeal mooted





Delaware County Supreme Court


Half won and half lost



Cortland County Supreme Court



Appellate Division 3rd Department (transferred Article 78)

Appellate panel


Kirkwood lost to Judge Connerton from Broome County, NY.
Kirkwood half-lost to Judge Lambert from Otsego County, NY.
Kirkwood lost to Judge Rumsey of Cortland County, NY.
Kirkwood lost to the trial panel of the 3rd Department on an Article 78 proceeding.
Yet, Kirkwood was always handed victories by Carl Becker, and he wants to continue this tradition by being elected to the position of a judge who will hear all of the cases of Delaware County Department of Social Services, his current client of 20 years where he hired, checked background, counseled, trained and very likely had social relationships with many social workers that are supposed to appear in front of him as a judge in Family Court - as it happened before Becker as a judge.
As to Mugglin, Mugglin ruled in only three appeals of Kirkwood's - one that was mooted, one that was lost on the law, in a PINS/violation of probation case where Becker violated the minor child's constitutional rights to favor Kirkwood, by failing to advise the child of her right to remain silent, and one where Mugglin engaged in judicial misconduct and failed to point out in his decision the subsection of the criminal statute that the father was convicted out - which was not a sex offense, and thus the father was not subject to sex offender related probation conditions or treatment requirement, thus making Mugglin's decision illegal.
So, based on this appellate history of Porter Kirkwood, Mugglin had absolutely no basis to claim that Kirkwood is a good attorney, or "one of the best attorneys" Mugglin knew.
There are also two suspicious private appeals, both undertaken by Kirkwood for people associated with social services, during his county-paid time.
One was for a relative of Commissioner Moon.
The other was for then-Supervisor of Social Services Peter Bracci sued by his sister for elder abuse, wrongful death of their father and for plundering their father's trust accounts and estate.  There, Becker assigned himself in the Supreme Court to the case and ruled for Kirkwood's client after reported ex parte discussions behind the courthouse, even though Kirkwood failed to raise the issue of standing in the answer on behalf of his clients (I reviewed the case).
Kirkwood's representation of a person sued for elder abuse and wrongful death of an elder was in stark conflict with his obligation as a County Attorney to prosecute elder abuse - no matter who was the perpetrator, even if the perpetrator was Peter Bracci, Supervisor of Social Services.  Yet, instead of prosecuting Peter Bracci on report of Barbara O'Sullivan, Porter Kirkwood instead accepted from him reportedly $17,000 to represent him on appeal alone, not counting how much money was paid to Kirkwood by Peter Bracci and other defendant for representation in the court below.

I believe, those $17,000 could just as well be deemed to be a financial incentive paid to Porter Kirkwood for non-prosecution of a public official for elder abuse.  

If Porter Kirkwood's honest services as a prosecutor could be bought, his services as a judge can be bought, too.

Kirkwood also represented the Bracci defendants during his taxpayer-paid County time, which he considers completely proper.  

Moreover, according to a witness, Kirkwood boasted at the meeting with voters in August 2015 that he has a private practice that generates $2,000 a month for him - obviously, on County time. 
That's what you are going to get if you vote for Porter Kirkwood - a judge who will engage in egregious conflicts of interest, will be fixing cases for his friends and former clients of a lifetime, engaging in ex parte communications and doing his private business on the job.
If you want such a judge - vote for Porter Kirkwood.

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