"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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

It is stand-up comedy - and it is free (to read)

I am following the "service" of the New York Commission for Legislative, Executive and Judicial pay raises.

I already wrote about disqualifications of the majority of the members of that Commission who staunchly refuse to disqualify themselves despite their obvious financial interests in the outcomes of their own decisions.

The Commission is going to live-stream a public hearing today at 11:00 am and posted a link that anybody can (allegedly) follow to watch the hearing online.

Here is the information and the link:

The sequence of invited witnesses suggests the following:

1) First, members of the Commission will hear praises to New York Judiciary from those who financially benefit from expressing such praises - attorneys and judges (see my post today about the main rule of the legal profession - "thou shalt brown-nose your judge").

2)  Then, members of the Commission will have lunch.

3) Then, members of the Commission will hear opponents of judicial pay raise, those pesky people who, year after year, raise the issue that the judiciary first needs to clean itself of the rampant corruption and only then it will be entitled to any pay raises - maybe.

We will see how Commissioner's digestive process works after lunch, whether all their blood will drain to their stomachs.

After all, all the most important issues they want to hear - the self-praising and the brown-nosing part - they will hear before lunch.

Yet, at least as a formality, an option to make written submissions is available.  So far the written submissions listed on the Commission's website as of today are not many.  

I am not persuaded that there were only three or four critical submissions against judicial pay raise in the whole New York, with a huge population of close to 20 million people by 2014 statistics.  Looks like the Commission may be hiding something - like NYS OCA is hiding affidavits submitted to the NYS Commission for Attorney Discipline that I asked for in a FOIL request.

After all, why would anybody be exposed to such uncivilized things as criticism of judicial corruption?

It is much more pleasant to hear one set of people interested in boons from another set of people to sing praises about one another - in order to justify putting their collective hands into your pockets, taxpayers of the State of New York.

And here is the announcement about written submissions that can be done to the Commission by e-mail before December 2, 2015.  

Don't miss the opportunity to address the pay raise of judges who - at least in New York - are not bound by the rule of law, but readily recall that they are "constitutional officers" when asking for a pay raise of their already inflated salaries.

And here is the kicker.

Judges submitted a report through the New York State Office of Court Administration, available on the Commission's website.

And in that report judges claim that the following principles must be applicable to the issue of pay raises for them:


I strongly recommend adding a "viewer discretion advised" to such pieces.

An unprepared person may suffer grave health consequences, after all.

Those same people who lack any of the four principles of 

  • fairness
  • objectivity
  • regularity, or 
  • institutional integrity
in their work and who recall that the word "Constitution" only when they claim they are "constitutional officers" entitled to a pay raise, and who at all other times claim that constitutional = frivolous and sanctionable, those same people ask to apply 

  • fairness,
  • objectivity,
  • regularity and
  • institutional integrity 
to their pay raise issue.

Well, if you, my dear dishonorables, undermined institutional integrity of New York government beyond the breaking point, how can you expect the corpse to walk for you and only for you?

I especially love that judges raised the issue of "regularity", that the way law applies should be predictable.

I am all for it.

But then - why are attorneys all over the country flocking to paid CLE seminars to learn "pet peeves" of judges?

Is it because of the "regularity", "objectivity and transparency", "fairness" and "institutional integrity", or maybe it is because, unless you know how to please a particular judge, you won't get anywhere in pursuance of your rights? 

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