"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.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields as the expert in Family law - and in defrauding voters, for a consideration

I wrote on this blog about fraud upon the voters of now quickly retired Delaware County judge Carl F. Becker.

How he misrepresented his record of reversals in his own recent election campaign in 2012.

How he used a party in litigation in front of him, Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields (who was, as the election fliers disclosed, after the court case closed, Becker's close personal friend who knew Becker's after-hours and weekend schedule).  

Of course, such close "friendship" required disqualification of Becker from Shields' case - which, of course, never happened.  Instead, a transcript exists in that case where the then-Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney (retired "with an honorable plaque" in 2012) admits to an ex parte communication with Becker when Spinney either came to Becker's chambers or called Becker to discuss the case - and even that did not get Becker off the case.   

And, I reproduce here the table I have put into the original blog about Becker defrauding his voters in the 2012 election campaign with the help of Beverly Shields.  Becker was "rarely" reversed.  Indeed.

Case Name
Reversed or Modified
Appellant’s attorneys
People v. Miller, 11 A.D.3d 729, 783 N.Y.S.2d (3dr dept., 2004)
October 21, 2004
Reversed and remitted
Ineffective assistance of counsel
David Roosa, Sidney
People v. Van Buren, 4 N.Y.3d 640, 830 N.E.2d 1130 (N.Y., 2005
May 10, 2005
NY Court of Appeals reversed decision of 3rd Department which affirmed Judge Becker's decision
Erroneously dismissed traffic ticket to an attorney issued by environmental police
Andrew Van Buren, Hobart, Pro Se
Edward S. v. Kelly S., 18 A.D.3d 976, 795 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2005)
May 12, 2005
Reversed and remitted 2 orders
Erroneous dismissal of father's petition for substantial change of circumstances for failure to state a cause of action without a hearing
Lo Pinto, Schlather, Solomon & Salk, Ithaca (Diane V. Bruns of counsel)
In re Jessica GG., 19 A.D.3d 765, 797 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2005)
June 9, 2005
Reversed and remitted
Family Court's admonition to minor that she had the right, but was not required, to testify at fact-finding hearing did not satisfy requirement that minor be advised of right to remain silent at proceeding to adjudicate her a person in need of supervision (PINS).
Jehed Diamond, Delhi, attorney for the child in PINS (persons in need of supervision) proceedings
Smith v. Smith, 24 A.D.3d 822, 804 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2005)
December 1, 2005
Appellate court vacated order of protection against the father
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield
People v. Abuiz, 31 A.D.3d 889, 817 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2006)
July 13, 2006
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court reversed defendant's convictions of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree under counts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 of the indictment; matter remitted to the County Court of Delaware County for a new trial on said counts;  Judge Becker usurped the jury's fact-finding function in response to jury inquiry,  factually directed a verdict of guilt as to criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree in the event that the jury found defendant guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree
Rosemarie Richards, Gilbertsville
Sparling v. Robinson, 35 A.D.3d 1142, 826 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2006)
December 28, 2006
(1) mother's failure to have child return several telephone calls from father and members of father's household, and reference to father in derogatory terms, did not amount to change in circumstances warranting modification of custody order, and (2) modification of custody order to grant father sole custody of child was not in child's best interests.
Jehed Diamond, Delhi
Tanner v. Tanner, 35 A.D.3d 1102, 826 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2006)
December 28, 2006
Reversed and remitted
Denial of incarcerated petition for visitation with the child without a hearing
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield
Meier v. Key-Meier, 36 A.D.3d 1001, 828 N.Y.2d (3rd Dept., 2007)
January  4, 2007
Affirmed as modified
Appellate Court reversed denial of counsel fees to father
Rosemarie Richards, Gilbertsville,  Andrew Van Buren, Hobart
Armstrong v. Heilker, 47 A.D.3d 1104, 850 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2008)
January 17, 2008
Affirmed as modified and remitted
Appellate court reversed order directing mother to submit to mental health evaluation by expert chosen by father
Jehed Diamond, Delhi
Amato v. Amato, 51 A.D.3d 1123, 857 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2008)
May 1, 2008
Reversed and remitted
Failure to appoint an attorney for the child
Andrew Van Buren, Hobart
Gil v. Gil, 55 A.D.3d 1024, 870 N.Y.S. 2d (3rd Dept., 2008)
October  16, 2008
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court vacated stay away provisions of the order of protection against the father as unsupported by the record
James M. Hartmann, Delhi
Hills v. Madrid, 57 A.D.3d 1175, 869 N.Y.2d (3rd Dept., 2008)
December 18, 2008
Affirmed as modified
Appellate Court vacated award of sole custody to the mother as not supported by the record, restored joint legal custody
Cynthia J. Tippins, East Greenbush
Adams v. Bracci, 61 A.D.3d 1065, 876 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2009)
April 2, 2009
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court vacated award to father of sole custody where father did not request such a relief in petition, no notice to pro se mother
Paul J. Connolly, Delmar
People v. Beames, 71 A.D.3d 1300, 896 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2010)
March 18, 2010
Reversed and remitted
trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law were insufficiently detailed to permit intelligent appellate review, and (2) mitigating circumstances did not support downward departure in defendant's presumptive sex offender risk level classification
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield
People v. Hull, 71 A.D. 3d 1336, 898 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2010)
March 25, 2010
Reversed and remitted
Ineffective representation of counsel
Jonathan I. Edelstein, New York City
In re Village Of Fleischmanns, 77 A.D. 3d 1146, 909 N.Y.S.2d 564 (3rd Dept., 2010)
October 21, 2010
Village was not equitably estopped from foreclosing
Bond, Schoeneck & King, P.L.L.C., Albany (Robert H. Feller of counsel)
Moore v. Sloan, 88 A.D.3d 1193, 932 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2011)
October 27, 2011
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court vacated order without a hearing that granted mother sole medical decision-making authority
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield
Geywits ex rel. Geywits v. Charlotte Valley Cent. School Dist., 98 A.D.3d 804, 949 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2012)
August 16, 2012
Appellate court reversed the denial of motion for the summary judgment to the school sued for failure to supervise minors who were allowed to go to the restroom alone and were exposed to sexual misconduct of a sophomore, the appellate court found that the  school lacked notice of prior similar misconduct
The Mills Law Firm, LLP, Clifton Park, Christopher K. Mills
Shields v. Carbone, 99 A.D.3d 1055, 952 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2012)
October 18, 2012
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court reversed portion of the decision requiring Delaware County to return the bail, instead requiring the law firm O'Connell and Aronowitz, PC to first return bail to Delaware County
Richard Spinney, Delaware County Attorney
Scribani v. Buchannon, 101 A.D.3d 1517, 957 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2012)
December  27, 2012
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court reversed dismissal of complaint against second defendant
Tatiana Neroni, Delhi
People v. Hazen, 103 A.D.3d 943, 962 N.Y.S. 2d (3rd Dept., 2013)
February  14, 2013
Appellate court reversed summary denial without a hearing of a motion to modify sex offender level classification, failure to satisfy procedural requirements
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield
People v. Lynch, 104 A.D. 3d 1062, 961 N.Y.S. 2d (3rd Dept., 2013)
March 28, 2013
Failure to grant a motion to withdraw the plea because of a conflict when two criminal defendants were represented by the same counsel
Galluzzo & Johnson, New York City, Matthew J. Galluzzo for appellant
Hurtado v. Williams, 112 A.D.3d 1047, 976 N.Y.S.2d (3rd Dept., 2013)
December  5, 2013
Affirmed as modified
Appellate court reversed denial of a motion to dismiss a common law negligence claim by a tavern in a case alleging negligent service of alcohol
Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC, Camillus (Maureen G. Fatcheric of counsel)
In re Bayley W., --- NYS2d ---, 2014 WL 1316462, 3rd Dept., April 3, 2014
April 3, 2014
Severing parental rights of an incarcerated father without an evidentiary hearing
Theresa Mulliken, Harpersfield

Beverly Shields provided support to Becker after Becker:

  • refused to sanction Beverly Shields (without disclosing that she was Becker's personal friend) for contempt of court in Shields v. Carbone, Delaware County Index No. 2009-440, when Beverly Shields refused to abide by a clear and unambiguous court order of the Appellate Division; and
  • instead, sanctioned the attorney who brought the contempt of court proceeding against Beverly Shields - for making a motion to recuse Becker (who should have recused not only on the basis of what I argued, but also on the basis of what I did not know at that time - ex parte communication with Spinney and personal relationship with Shields).
So,  it clearly appears that Becker paid for Shields' support in re-election of 2012 ahead of time by getting assigned to her case and "fixing" it for her and sanctioning the attorney who wanted legitimate sanctions against her, and Becker's buddy Spinney.

Now I was alerted by a reader that Beverly Shields is engaged in a new bout of fraud upon the voters, now supporting Becker's friend, former subordinate, colleague - and apprentice, Porter Kirkwood, and, it appears, also for a consideration.

In January of 2015, Porter Kirkwood as Delaware County attorney, approved of Beverly Shields new salary - $63,292.  

In October of 2015, Beverly Shields returned the favor by endorsing Porter Kirkwood as a judicial candidate and playing law expert once again, as she - fraudulently - did for Becker in 2012.

Here is what Beverly Shields said in support of Porter Kirkwood:

Of course, Beverly Shields is not an attorney, does not have any training in the law and has no clue about Family Law.  Yet, same as with Becker, she did not care whether what she says in support of a judicial candidate is outright voter fraud - as long as the supported candidate gets on the bench and provides favor for her and for the county where she is an officer.

Bev Shields also chimed in with a "letter to the editor" - reproduced by Porter Kirkwood on his Facebook page:

In her letter in support for Porter Kirkwood Bev Shields claims that two falsehoods are circulated about poor Mr. Kirkwood.

She claims he had nothing to do with the court case in the Surrogate's Court involving Commissioner Moon's and another DSS employee's self-dealing and preying on an elderly person.

Yet, if he had nothing to do with the court case when it was litigated, that does not mean he had nothing to do with legal advice to Commissioner Moon who did not step anywhere without such legal advice.  Shifting the focus to who represented the county in the surrogate court does not take out of the equation that Commissioner Moon acted unethically, and that Porter Kirkwood, as County Attorney since 2013, did nothing to put in an ethical code prohibiting what Commissioner Moon was doing - because Porter Kirkwood himself had a private practice on the side, taking cases that violated his ethical obligation to the county, and working on private cases, including court appearances, during taxpayer-paid time.

Beverly Shields' claimed "Falsehood # 2" - that Porter Kirkwood had nothing to do with the county awarding contract while bypassing public bidding.  Beverly Shields could not even lie credibly for Porter Kirkwood - who endorsed her lies by posting them on his campaign Facebook page.  She said that she "negotiates" her own contract and "only" sends them to Kirkwood for legal review, and then they are sent back for a final determination.

Shields apparently gave away more than she wanted to - that happens with our brainless public officials.  What she gave away is that public contracts MAY NOT be "finally determined" without a PUBLIC HEARING.  Shields has not authority to "finally determine" contracts that require public approval and public bidding.

Hello, Beverly Shields - you did not know that?

Hello, Porter Kirkwood, who endorsed that statement of Beverly Shields' on his Facebook campaign page - you did not know that, with all your 21 years of experience as a lawyer and your $125,917 salary with benefits, at our (and my own) expense as a taxpayer?

Yet, a County Attorney is responsible for verifying whether a contract is legal or not, and a contract that bypassed public bidding is illegal, so his "legal review" amounted to fraud, if he allowed such a contract to proceed - without public bidding.

Apparently, Beverly Shields tried to represent Porter Kirkwood as an attorney, explaining how the process of public contracts by a municipality must work - which Porter Kirkwood gladly accepted by posting it, which once again confirms Porter Kirkwood's utter incompetence. 

Where Bev Shields appears with her support - voters can be assured they are being defrauded and duped.

With friends such as Bev Shields - judicial candidates do not really need enemies.

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