"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 25, 2015

Yet another reversal - on the law - of the "move up or move on" judge John Lambert of Otsego County Court

On October 22, 2015 Judge Lambert, of Otsego County Court, was reversed - again, and reversed on the law - again (and criminal indictment dismissed), which is pretty bad for a judge.

It means that Judge Lambert did not do his job and allowed Otsego County to waste money on a trial that did not have to happen, Judge Lambert had to dismiss the case and not to allow it to go to trial - which, of course, Judge Lambert did not do, because he was catering for his former boss, Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl.

So far, Judge Lambert has 16 reversals and modifications, most of them on the law, over the period of 2011 to 2015, less than 5 years. That is more than 3 reversals per year, which is pretty bad for a judge.

The latest reversal is of a much publicized case of the alleged fraud by an insurance broker - who is now vindicated, and his insurance licenses in various states revoked because of the criminal proceedings will have to be restored.

All of that injury to the insurance broker Mr. Michaels did not have to happen, had Judge Lambert done his job.

Yet, Judge Lambert not only did not dismiss a legally insufficient case before trial, but, after an improperly obtained conviction he denied Mr. Michaels bail and sent an over-60 individual to jail making him to have to hire counsel to apply for bail pending appeal from the appellate court.

This reversal is extremely embarrassing for Judge Lambert and is showing him in a very bad light, as an incompetent judge who should be handling criminal felony cases.

This is not the first felony case I am aware of that Judge Lambert handled where Judge Lambert cavalierly denies pretrial motions and forces people into plea bargains by forcing them into trial and threatening to sentence them to prison for a maximum time or to any time if the whole idea of prison can coerce a person to plea.

So, Judge Lambert is a "move up (appeal) or move on (accept it)" judge - that's what he and his court attorney Mark Oursler regularly tell people when they point out the judge's mistakes that can be corrected in the judge's own courtroom, without forcing people to go for costly appeals.

Also, Judge Lambert is, apparently, a wrongful conviction judge who is regularly reversed on the law, which means he does not know the law and should not be presiding over ANY cases, and especially cases where child custody and people's liberty and criminal records are at stake.

Here is the record of Judge Lambert's reversals so far:

Date of reversal

Name of case

Name of lower court
Why reversed
1. January 6, 2011
Estate of Susie M. Walker, deceased

Delaware County Surrogate’s Court
On the law, the court erroneously granted a summary judgment to an objector and refused to accept a will for probate

2. February 17, 2011
Matter of Daniel M. v Lois L.
Otsego County Family Court

Reversal of denial of restitution to the victim of domestic abuse, Article 8 petition

3. October 27, 2011

Otsego County Court
Judge Lambert, on an appeal from a town court, improperly reduced the amount awarded on a defendant’s counterclaim, the amount was restored.

4. February 16, 2012
Delaware County Supreme Court
Lambert wrongfully denied a motion for a summary judgment in an action to quiet title to a parcel of real property where there was no rebuttal by defendants.

5.  October 18, 2012
Matter of Ryan Ruple v Shannon Harkenreader 

Otsego County Family Court
Reversed the order to the father released from prison to engage in education and therapy as condition precedent to unsupervised visitation of the child, reversed denial of father’s access to school and health record of the child

6. October 17, 2013
Delaware County v Leatherstocking Care LLC
Delaware County Supreme Court
Judge Lambert wrongfully denied a motion to dismiss a fraud claim and wrongfully granted motion to dismiss unjust enrichment claim

7. April 3, 2014
People v Emanuel P. Medeiros
Otsego County Court

2 counts of the indictment vacated and remanded for a trial, on the law, for failure of Judge Lambert to advise the jury about the law of accomplice liability

8.  April 3, 2014
People v Cody Fancher
Delaware County Supreme Court

A conviction for criminal mischief reversed because People failed to satisfy an element of value necessary for a felony conviction

9. July 3, 2014

Frederick  Babcock
Delaware County Supreme Court
On the law, the court erroneously allowed the plaintiff to serve a late notice of claim

10. July 3, 2014
Town of Delhi v Ernie Telian
Delaware County Supreme Court

Judge improperly dismissed the lawsuit, the lawsuit was reinstated

11. October 16, 2014
Bufton Clark, Inc. v Hillside Companies, Inc.

Delaware County Supreme Court

Judge Lambert wrongfully granted to plaintiff a motion for partial summary judgment, with damages, vacated.

12. October 16, 2014
In the Matter of RICHARD W.    HOYLE JR., 
VICKI SALISBURY HOYLE,                     Appellant. 
Otsego County Family Court
Judge Lambert improperly granted a child support petition despite an existing stipulation precluding the filing of such a petition, reversal on the law
13. January 8, 2015
Macaluso v Macaluso
Delaware County Supreme Court

Equitable distribution in a divorce action is modified, on the law, and the matter remanded back to court because the judge, in a bench trial, attributed defendant husband’s the totality of pension and his home bought before the marriage as marital property.

14. January 8, 2015
Melissa Beardslee v Calvin Beardslee
Delaware County Supreme Court
Judgment modified – Judge Lambert wrongfully denied to defendant husband in a divorce action separate property contributed to payment of marital debt

15. January 22, 2015

People v John Tubbs
Delaware County Court
Risk level III for a sex offender not supported by clear and convincing evidence – or by any evidence, risk level reduced to level II

16. October 22, 2015
People v Norman J. Michaels
Otsego County Court
On the law, and the indictment dismissed, a finding of fraud beyond the reasonable doubt could not be made by any reasonable jury that defendant had intent to defraud where no documents prohibiting issuing insurance policies for people outside of the region existed


  1. After witnessing the trial;of the people vs Norman J Michaels, I have an appreciation for how the judicial system is supposed to work. the court was any thing but fair. the defense atty was constantly badgered. The monster insurance company MVP got their way and pushed the case through the Otsego offices to get it tried. As the appelate court said never should have happened.

    1. Sadly, you are correct, the trial promoted the interests of the insurance company that, as far as I know, never rescinded the insurance policies and never returned the money, so there was no fraud or grand larceny to talk about to begin with. And yes, the defense attorney was badgered, upon my information. I will run another blog about that shortly.

  2. This was a waste of our money!!!!!

    What purpose did this trial serve other than for the headlines?

    1. I agree with you as to the waste of money. As to the purpose - it served a lot of purposes for the insurance company, the prosecutor and the judge, all wrong ones.