"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, November 29, 2015

A new CLE course to be taught soon: "Praise Peebles' trumpet and other similar techniques"

As of November 13, 2015, my law license was allegedly suspended in New York.

I say "allegedly" because (1) I was never served with the order of suspension and because (2) the order of suspension posted online says I "should" be suspended, not that I am suspended.

Also, the U.S. Supreme Court said that unconstitutional actions of the government are void, meaning they are a ZERO, a NOTHING, a NULLITY.

My order of suspension very clearly says that, as of November 13, 2015, the court at the same time found attorney disciplinary violations AND blamed me for not expressing remorse on a date prior to determination of liability.

That is called pre-judgment, which is unconstitutional, making the order of suspension, according to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Marbury v Madison some 112 year ago void and a nullity.

Nevertheless, despite the state order of suspension being a nullity, a federal court allegedly suspended my federal law license - without telling me - allegedly on November 18, 2015, even though my status was listed as "active" on the court's website until November 22, 2015 and only on November 23, 2015, through a "letter order" in another case, the court condescended to notifying me of the order of suspension allegedly made on November 18, 2015.

The suspension by NDNY court is peculiar.

TWICE I asked that same court, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, for help based on constitutional violations that led to suspension of my law license.

In June of 2011 I sued Delaware County County, Family and Acting Supreme Court judge Carl Becker for misconduct IN and OUT of court.

After I sued him, Judge Becker immediately imposed sanctions upon me in three court cases.

Judge Becker's sanctions were imposed because, in his opinion, I harassed HIM by motions to recuse - which was grounds for disqualification, because a victim of alleged harassment may not preside, as a point of due process of law, over the case where the victim claims that harassment.

 A year before Becker imposed sanctions upon me in 2011, in 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit VACATED sanctions against an attorney for abuse of discretion - and those sanctions did not even involved statements about conduct of a public officials (which get additional 1st Amendment protection).

The 2nd Circuit has ruled that an attorney is entitled to draw reasonable inferences from facts the attorney is aware of to draw reasonable conclusions for purposes of his pleadings.

I did exactly that for motions to recuse.  I made all of my motions to recuse based on documentary evidence and inferences therefrom.  And, I was additionally protected by the 1st Amendment, because my statements were about misconduct of public officials:

  • Judge Carl Becker, since "retired";
  • then-Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney, since "retired";
  • District Attorney Richard Northrup, since elected to Judge Becker's seat, and
  • Vice-Chair of Commission of Judicial Conduct Stephen Coffey, who since was not re-appointed to the Commission after 16+ years of "service".
I can repeat under oath the contents of my pleadings, and the reasons for the inferences I made before a jury, and I am sure a reasonable jury will agree that there was nothing unreasonable in my inferences.

Moreover, it was my personal perception of impropriety, and an attorney may not be sanctioned for her personal perception.

Anyway, the timeline of participation of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in protection of my constitutional rights is as follows:

1/ September 2009 - I made a motion to recuse Becker from a child neglect case of my client because Becker represented the Petitioner and Petitioner's witnesses for 27 years.

2/ Later in September 2009 - my child is reviewed by local school's nurse and she makes a comment that my child has mosquito bites on him.  He did - he was fishing with family friends and their kids at our pond.  But I am not notified of the nurse's "mosquito" report.  

3/  A couple of days after the "mosquito report" and about 10 days after my motion to recuse, my husband and I are investigated by Becker's friend Commissioner Moon (since "retired") for child neglect. Later, Moon states under oath at a deposition that "had I opened that door" (and had I allowed search of our home law office) I wouldn't have been charged.

4/ October 2009.  A child neglect petition is filed against us by Moon.  Becker recuses.

Since Becker recused from our proceedings, Becker demonstrated his lack of impartiality and could not possibly sanction me.  Yet, he continued to preside over my other proceedings and recused only in 2012, after he imposed the sanctions that are now the basis of my no-hearing order of suspension.

5/ In early December of 2010 I file a complaint with the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct against Becker, describe in detail Becker's misconduct in 9 cases and request to take him off the bench.

6/  Instead, Becker is promoted to position of Acting Supreme Court justice in January of 2011 and assigns himself to all of my cases.

7/ Naturally, I make motions to recuse based on Becker's lack of impartiality against me that can reflect on my clients, and based on additional evidence in the record of Becker's misconduct and appearance of impropriety.  Appearances of impropriety is all that is required for an attorney to raise against a judge on a motion to recuse in New York.

Yet, attorneys are sanctioned, as I was, by the challenged judge no less, for not providing hard proof of misconduct, an invented elevated burden of proof.

8/ May 2011 - I request the New York State Attorney General to commence an ousting proceeding against Becker because his certificate of election for 2002 elections was never filed, and what was filed in 2011, is a forgery.

9/ June 27, 2011 - I file a lawsuit against Judge Becker on behalf of myself, my husband Frederick J. Neroni and my client Alecia Bracci (one of the sanctions imposed upon me was because of a motion to recuse I made PRO BONO in Ms. Bracci's case);  the lawsuit has been served upon Becker the same day by Barbara O'Sullivan, Alecia Bracci's mother.  "Coincidentally", both Alecia Bracci and Barbara O'Sullivan are now prosecuted on framed charges based on family court proceedings that are the basis of sanctions against me.

10/  July 1, 2011, August 2, 2011 and August 12, 2011 - Becker imposes sanctions upon me that are now the basis of the order of suspension of my law license without a hearing.

11/  On December 17, 2011 I file a federal lawsuit on behalf of Alecia Bracci, Frederick Neroni (my husband) and myself in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  I will call it NDNY for brevity.

12/  Judge James Tormey is assigned to state lawsuit against Becker and dismisses the case after a public hearing and an ex parte  with the NYS Assistant Attorney General.

In January of 2012, Judge Tormey dismissed the state lawsuit against Becker on absolute judicial immunity grounds, even though the lawsuit covered Becker's administrative acts and out of court acts.

13/  Even though the sanctions (point 10 above) FOLLOWED the filing of the state lawsuit (point 9 above), and thus cannot be included into appellate review of dismissal of the state lawsuit, NDNY dismisses our federal lawsuit against Becker on absolute immunity grounds, WITHOUT LOOKING at the evidence;

14/  NDNY later imposes an anti-filing injunction upon my husband Frederick J. Neroni for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit against Becker - that is the same Bracci v Becker.

15/  The appellate court dismissed appeal of one of the sanctions on a technicality and affirmed two other sanctions while ignoring large and material chunks of the record (a transcript where the then-Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney admits to an ex parte communication with Becker and a motion to compel disclosure of identity of plaintiff's expert whose position was contrary to plaintiffs and was showing that plaintiffs' lawsuit was frivolous in another case).

Appeals from sanctions were "vertical", pertaining to single-sanction-at-a-time, and did not involve the three sanctions and timing of the sanctions after I sued the judge, because of jurisdictional restrictions of the appellate court (or so they said).

16/  In January of 2013, because Becker's retaliatory sanctions were affirmed on appeal, a disciplinary petition is filed against me by the disciplinary committee of the Appellate Division 3rd Department where (1) supermajority of members - 18 out of 21 - are attorneys and my competitors, and many members of the committee have additional disqualification issues;

the petition contains Charge I Specification I charging me with neglect of clients at the time I was not admitted to practice law (which is fraud on behalf of prosecution, because they submitted under oath that they actually reviewed court records which would have readily alerted them that I was not admitted at the time they were charging me) and Charge IV that was dismissed even by the disciplinary court because it failed to allege a disciplinary violation.

I immediately forward to the disciplinary attorney Stephen Zayas (since "resigned" from the committee amid investigation into filing of false time sheets, employed by a prestigious law firm employing former judges, and then suddenly not employed there any more, but picked up by the State of New York again after I blogged about Zayas and his employment with the law firm employing former judges) - two sets of court records with a request to withdraw Charge I Specification I:

  • a transcript of the deposition that Zayas claims in the petition I failed to attend as an attorney on behalf of two clients or explain to the court why I failed to attend;
  • motion in that same case that I allegedly failed to oppose causing a default of those same two clients.
Dates on those two documents clearly show the year 2008, a year before I was admitted to the bar.

Thus, I was not an attorney in 2008, it was a crime for me to appear as an attorney on anybody's behalf in court or in depositions in 2008, and I could not be possibly charged for violation of attorney discipline for NOT committing a crime on two occasions.

I thought the incident will be resolved as soon as Zayas receives the documents, since they were obvious.

Zayas  instead continued to prosecute the case, fraud and all.

17/  In February of 2013 I removed the case to NDNY and filed an additional civil rights lawsuit.

18/  NDNY dismissed the civil rights lawsuit on Younger abstention grounds (meaning that the stat court is capable of handling federal constitutional issues) and remanded the disciplinary case for lack of jurisdiction because I alleged bias unrelated to racial discrimination (there is no such restriction in the removal statute I relied upon).

I would like to stress once again:

I asked THREE authorities in New York State to address Becker's misconduct:

  • NY State Commission of Judicial Conduct (2009, 2010, 2011- 2015) - where attorney Stephen Coffey was Vice-Chair while at the same time being part of litigation involving his own misconduct and coercing Becker to make improper bail release orders that plunged Delaware County into years of litigation (I actually won the money back for my client - after three appeals and a sanction, so that's why my license was taken because of a "client matter", because my representation of that particular client actually benefited that particular client);
  • NYS Attorney General (May of 2011), requesting him to file a petition for a writ of quo warranto (ousting) of Becker, because there was no competent documentary evidence of Becker's election in 2002;  instead, NYS AG represented Becker when I sued him;
  • Delaware County Supreme Court - where NYS AG represented Becker, and a judge was assigned who was also just sued for retaliation and was also represented by NYS AG.
After that, I asked NDNY to help against violation by the State of New York of my own and my clients' constitutional rights TWICE:

  1. through a lawsuit Bracci v Becker - dismissed on grounds of "absolute judicial immunity", meaning that the court said that, even if ALL that I was saying about Becker's misconduct was true, it DOES NOT MATTER, the lawsuit will have to be dismissed anyway, and the court will not LOOK at the evidence;
  2. through a removed disciplinary case - it was dismissed because, after all evidence that state authorities in New York WOULD NOT HEAR federal constitutional claims, NDNY stubbornly considered that I still can and should be plunged before the state government that does not want to hear about federal constitutional claims, especially about the government's own misconduct. Also, NDNY remanded because I was not RACIALLY discriminated by the state authorities (even though recently another attorney Leon Koziol has argued in a writ of mandamus against NDNY that NDNY itself discriminate against Mr. Koziol AND against me because of our Slavic origin).  So, had my skin been a different color than white, I would have had a chance at a removal of my disciplinary case, that is the inference that can be reasonably made from NDNY's remand.   

I will fast-forward what happened in state disciplinary court, I blogged a lot about it since the time of remand up to now.

I will only mention that, following the dismissal of my civil rights case on Younger abstention grounds by NDNY, I made motions in my disciplinary court raising federal constitutional issues, including due process and 1st Amendment not once, not twice, but three times.

Each time the motion was denied without an explanation, reasoning or legal grounds.

The first time it was "simply" denied without an explanation.

I moved to vacate, renew or reargue - and to provide a reasoned explanation and legal grounds, as was my due process right.  I was punished for that by an anti-filing injunction without court's permission - without a prior notice or opportunity to be heard.

I was then "allowed" to file yet another motion - when the referee refused to hold the court-ordered evidentiary hearing and instead illegally "decided the motion" for a summary judgment - together with the fraudulent charge that I neglected my clients in 2008, before I was admitted to the bar.

I did - and the November 13, 2015 decision to suspend me cites that, once again, my motions were denied, and once again without an explanation.

So much for the Younger abstention on the grounds that a state court is fully capable to resolved federal constitutional issues.  Denying a motion raising such issues without an explanation and punishing an attorney for raising those issues with a suspension is not a proper "resolution" of federal constitutional issues, and does not come close to the set of rights I am entitled to in a federal civil rights lawsuit that was dismissed under the Younger abstention.


I explored all avenues against a biased judge who recused from our case in 2009, but continued to assign himself to our other cases in order to be able to abuse his power and to retaliate against me and my clients for challenging his misconduct, using legal avenues.

(By the way, Becker sanctioned me TWICE for using public records in pleadings - in the "client matter" from Family Court which is used as one of the three sanctions in my order of suspension, for making FOIL requests seeking information about Judge Becker himself, and in another case where I used open court records to draw reasonable inferences - which the 2nd Circuit allowed and said it was not sanctionable as of 2010.)

After complaints and  motions to recuse did not help, and after I received information about Becker's out of court activities that were not subject to any kind of immunities, I sued the judge.

The judge retaliated with 3 sanctions.

I asked NDNY for protection pointing out that the timing, number and sequence of sanctions, and the basis of imposition of sanctions suggest retaliation in violation of my due process and 1st Amendment access to courts, for myself, my family members and my clients.

NDNY refused to help, tossing the case for the first time without looking at the evidence.

State appellate court similarly refused to look at the pattern of retaliation because of its restrictions to the record on appeal from a single case, which precluded the court from reviewing evidence between three cases forming  a pattern of retaliation.

I made three motions based on new evidence to vacate sanctions.

All of them were denied based on "collateral estoppel", which is only applicable when no new evidence is available.

A disciplinary action was brought against me exclusively on the basis of retaliatory sanctions.

I removed the case to NDNY and asked the court for the second time to help me against New York State's violation of my own and my clients' constitutional rights.

NDNY refused to help me, now for the second time, quoting that I did not assert racially-based retaliation.  Retaliation because I am Russian and an immigrant with an accent is not enough for "racially-based" retaliation and discrimination, I guess, not to mention that the statute of removal does not mention racially based discrimination as a condition precedent to grant the removal.

After NDNY refused to help me TWICE regarding KNOWN discrimination and KNOWN violation of my constitutional rights by the State of New York based on KNOWN retaliation of a state judge, 
NDNY now penalized me, a victim of judicial retaliation that NDNY refused to help, even more, by suspending my federal law license without a notice or hearing based on:

  • order of suspension of the state court without review of constitutional issues;
  • after dismissal by NDNY on Younger abstention grounds;
  • when order of suspension was exclusively based on Becker's retaliatory sanctions, and
  • when NDNY refused to address the pattern of retaliation by Becker when I sued back in December of 2011

And - the icing on the cake which I will address in detail in a separate blog is the identity of the attorney disciplinary committee appointed by NDNY, whom I will have to serve and who will be opponents to my requests to vacate the order of suspension in federal court.  It is as if NDNY hand-picked those same people who acted against me in state proceedings (and recused) and whom I sued in NDNY for due process and antitrust violations,  to finish me in the federal proceedings.

So, the pattern of how state authorities (all sworn to protect the U.S. Constitution) treated me as a critic of unconstitutional conduct of public officials is like that:

  1. ignore her complaints;
  2. if it does not help - intimidate her and harass her family and her child with a child neglect proceeding;
  3. if it does not help - intimidate and humiliate her with assigning a once-recused biased judge to the case and allowing him to unleash verbal tongue-lashing on her as if she is a second-grader;
  4. if it does not help - sanction her for making motions to recuse and for suing the judge;
  5. if you are a federal judge and she requests the help she is entitled to - refuse her any protection against constitutional violations by New York State pursuant to an act of the U.S. Congress, the Civil Rights Act, and the removal statute;  
  6. if it does not help and she goes public with exposure of judicial misconduct in both state and federal court system;
  7. suspend her state law license - just when she filed a motion to vacate in federal court based on misconduct of top court officials in the State of New York and was about to file a motion for sanctions against those same top court officials and the NYS Attorney General;
  8. suspend her federal law license without a hearing - in full knowledge, based on TWO federal cases that NDNY refused to hear, that what is being done to me in disciplinary "court" was unconstitutional.
And, after all that, (by the way, listen to the excellent musical piece at the end of my previous description of the pattern of how to eliminate a big-mouth civil rights attorney here), hope that she is tarred-and-feathered enough to be discredited and to crawl someplace licking her wounds - and that she will finally SHUT UP.

Did I mention tens of thousands of dollars in sanctions against her for doing her job for her clients, the job that other attorneys refused to do?

And, blast her for refusing to "admit misconduct", repent the error of her ways (even though a court is not a religious institution, or so they say), "express remorse" or ask for leniency and mercy from the criminal cartel that is operating attorney disciplinary system.

Really, I did commit the worst of attorney disciplinary offenses.

After all, I criticized NDNY magistrate David Peebles for too-cozy a relationship with rich and powerful legal-elite firms, for corruption in how he is trying to get re-appointed for his lucrative and highly paying (at taxpayers'  expense) position and for keeping attorneys who practice in front of him as a captive audience with his trumpet performances.

That is the main offense I committed:  I did not brown-nose the judiciary.  How did I live up to my gray hair and having raised three children, two of them adults, without knowing that simple truth?

Thou shalt brown-nose your judge!

In view of the above, I am planning to teach a CLE course, and I reasonably predict it will be wildly popular and financially lucrative.

It will be tentatively called: "How to Praise Peebles' trumpet - and other similar techniques".

That is the beginning and the end of what a lawyer in this country needs to know about the law and its application.

I will announce when the CLE course will be posted later on.  I might even combine it with a cooking show.

Stay tuned.

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