"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, October 22, 2015

Members and founder of the New York State Commission for Attorney Discipline oppose the Commission's own recommendation in a civil lawsuit

This blog contains the texts of referenced pleadings and court orders available through links.

I wrote in this blog that the Final Report of the New York State Commission for Attorney Discipline borrowed reform ideas from the lawsuit that I filed on behalf of my husband in 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, Neroni v Zayas, Case No. 3:13-cv-0127.

I also wrote that I filed a motion to vacate the two orders of dismissal, see orders here and here, in that case based, in part, on new law that emerged since the decisions and based on the Commission's Final Report that claimed Mr. Neroni's ideas from Neroni v Zayas as their ideas for reform of attorney discipline.

The founder of the Commission Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and members of the Commission Monica Duffy and Third Department Court/Chief Judge Karen Peters (who participated in the Commission through its deputy clerk and through Chief Judge's special counsel) are now fighting the motion.

They filed an opposition in court where they say the following:

How can it be "a motion for reargument" when it invokes Defendants' actions (as Commission founder and members) AFTER the dismissal occurred - Defendants do not explain.

Defendants Lippman, Duffy and Peters also fail to explain how can Mr. Neroni's motion be "without merit" where the motion to vacate and reinstate Mr. Neroni's claims is based on irrefutable documentary evidence which clearly matches arguments in Mr. Neroni "incoherent" complaint with IDENTICAL ideas offered as "reform recommendations" in the Commission members'/Neroni v Zayas defendants report to the Commission founder/Neroni v Zayas defendant Jonathan Lippman.

Of course, Mr. Neroni's pro se appeal was filed one day BEFORE the date of the Final Report and Recommendation that is one of the bases of the motion to vacate was issued, and thus, the appeal could not possibly touch upon the contents of the Final Report and Recommendation.

Moreover, all public hearings of the Commission were conducted after the final order of dismissal was issued.

Additionally, all public hearings of the Commission, transcripts of which are part of the motion to vacate, were conducted after the order of dismissal and may not be reached by the appellate court.

The State Defendants - or their attorney, New York State Attorney General, elected public official who was elected to SERVE THE PUBLIC - apparently, do not know where to stop and do not know how to simply NOT OPPOSE what is NOT OPPOSABLE, and how to simply APOLOGIZE.

In fact, if Mr. Neroni's lawsuit would go through, and if Mr. Neroni gets a declaratory judgment on the VERY SAME ISSUES that are raised in the Report and Recommendations, then the Commission's work will be actually CARRIED OUT BY MR. NERONI, faster than what Judge Lippman can do - through a federal court order.

So, while Monica Duffy's, Karen Peter's and Jonathan Lippman's claimed interests as the Commission's members and founder are aligned with Mr. Neroni's interests in Neroni v Zayas litigation, Duffy, Peters and Lippman continue to fight Mr. Neroni's claims (identical to their own in the Commission's Report) as "being without merit".

I do not know what can be more frivolous than this conduct.

I do not know what can be more fraudulent than:

1) claiming that somebody's ideas are "incoherent";
2) then plagiarizing those same ideas and presenting them as their own idea for "reform" benefiting the public;
3) and then fighting those same ideas in court when the author of those ideas wants to implement those ideas to make that same reform FASTER, through a declaratory judgment in a lawsuit.

I must stress that Duffy, Peters and Lippman ARE NOT sued for money damages.  All they are sued for is injunctive and declaratory relief, and declaratory relief for EXACTLY THE SAME ideas as they recommend in their Final Report and Recommendations - which, I must stress once again, will only be faster to do through the lawsuit.

All that Duffy, Peters and Lippman have to do to promote their own recommendations for reform (borrowed from Mr. Neroni and myself from the Neroni v Zayas lawsuit) is to simply AGREE to a declaratory judgment.  That is ALL.

Yet, Duffy, Peters and Lippman continue to waste public money on opposing in court the same ideas that they promote outside of court through the Commission.

Instead of APOLOGIZING to the plaintiff Mr. Neroni or to me for 

(1) having his meritorious civil rights claim dismissed;
(2) plagiarizing his (and my) ideas from the dismissed civil rights lawsuit and presenting them as their own in the Final Report and Recommendation,

Duffy, Peters and Lippman continue to bad-mouth Mr. Neroni for being a "disbarred attorney" - illegally disbarred without a hearing by themselves in violation of those same rules of procedural protection that they claim should be present in attorney disciplinary proceedings (in the Final Report), but which they fight and try to prevent introduction of through a declaratory judgment in Neroni v Zayas lawsuit.

Moreover, Duffy, Peters and Lippman ask the court to derail Mr. Neroni's (and their own) ideas for reform once again on the basis of ideas of "judicial economy" and on procedural grounds - because Mr. Neroni filed an appeal on October 1, 2015, hinting that the appeal was filed AFTER the report and recommendation of the Commission (September 24, 2015) and could discuss it.

Yet, Duffy, Peters and Lippman do not point out that the appeal was SENT on September 23, 2015 (of which they are fully aware, and the date of service is reflected in the appellate court record), one day BEFORE the Report and Recommendation was issued.

And, Duffy, Peters and Lippman do not point out to the lower court that they already fraudulently obtained an order of conditional dismissal of that same appeal that they invoke for the lower court as the basis of "divestment of jurisdiction" of the motion to vacate, by e-filing with the appellate court and knowingly serving Mr. Neroni, a pro se appellant, to the wrong address, an unsigned opposition against Mr. Neroni's request for an extended page limit, a request that was made exactly so that he could cover the work of the Commission, and ts transcripts (post-dating the order of dismissal) matching what was sought in the transcripts with what he was seeking in his lawsuit.  

In their unsigned fraudulent ex parte opposition to Mr. Neroni's pro se appeal, for which Mr. Neroni already filed a motion for sanctions against Duffy, Peters and Lippman - which fact they also did not feel obligated to reveal to the lower court - Duffy, Peters and Lippman asked the appellate court not to give Mr. Neroni an extension of page limits because his lawsuit (from which Duffy and Peters's personnel, members of the Commission, plagiarized Mr. Neroni's and my own ideas) was allegedly "incoherent".  That Mr. Neroni was asking to extend the page limit to cover the new development in the law and the work of the Commission which was in addition to coverage of the contents of the Amended Complaint, was not even mentioned by Duffy, Peters and Lippman in their fraudulent ex parte opposition to the appellate court.

So, in the appellate court, the Commission members and founder - Neroni v Zayas defendants - fraudulently derailed additional page limit to cover their actions in the Commission where they supported and recommended the very same ideas that they fought and continue to fight in Neroni v Zayas.

And, in the lower court, the Commission members and founder - Neroni v Zayas defendants - refer to the appeal from the order of dismissal where the motion court could not possibly review activities of the Commission because those activities and the Final report occurred AFTER the order of dismissal, and refer to that appeal (that they already fraudulently derailed) as grounds to request the lower court to "exercise judicial economy" and to derail Mr. Neroni's lawsuit once again, even though Mr. Neroni is claiming in his lawsuit THE VERY SAME THINGS that the Commission members and founder - defendants in Neroni v Zayas lawsuit, all public servants, are heralding as their own recommendations for reform of the attorney disciplinary system in New York.

How fraudulent, especially given the flashy sub-headline of their own Report and Recommendation that Duffy, Peters and Lippman are fighting in federal court.

How predictable in New York public officials to engage in completely shameless and frivolous conduct - because they are never held accountable for it.

At the very least, the public has a right to know about fraudulent behavior of its public servants who are frivolously wasting public money on opposition of now their own ideas for reform, and on trying to slow the very same reform through a lawsuit while heralding the need for that same reform to the public through the Commission.

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