"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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The State Court system suspended my law license in order to prevent my filing of a motion for sanctions for frivolous conduct against Chief Judge Lippman, New York State Attorney General and 3rd Department Chief Judge Peters. How predictable.

Yesterday, the New York State Attorney General's office, specifically, attorney Kenneth Gellhaus who falsely accused me of UPL in July of this year, but suffered no attorney discipline because of his status, gleefully notified me of my suspension - before the court or opposing attorney did.

So, halleluja, on November 16, 2015 the Appellate Division 4th Department has filed a backdated order effective November 13, 2015 which was not filed on the effective date (I checked the website of the court on November 13, 2015, Friday and throughout the weekend).

I was suspended for 2 years, and not for "frivolous conduct in 'three client matters'", as the court fraudulently stated in the court order (below), but, a I wrote in this blog before, as a continuous penalty for suing the now retired Judge Carl F. Becker of Delaware County court, for actually working FOR my clients in making motions to recuse Becker because of his corruption and misconduct.

And, in deciding the two out of three sanctions on appeal, the 3rd Department has actually ignored the whole motions 
(M&C Brothers, motion to compel production of identity of Plaintiff's expert at the un-noticed deposition that happened before I was admitted to the bar and entered this case ONLY for purposes of a motion to vacate based on misconduct of attorney Follender, who is - what a surprise - a judge in the town of Denning, Ulster County, the County where Chief Judge Peters of the 3rd Department is from) and the whole transcript (Shields v Carbone, admission to an ex parte communication between Becker and Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney).

I was suspended without a hearing by a referee which - as the order below says - was appointed to hold a hearing, but refused to do so because, after reviewing THE PLEADINGS (which was NOT the referee's job) the referee "concluded" that collateral estoppel is applicable.

In other words, the 4th Department allowed the referee to decide a motion instead of to hold a hearing.  And motions in the appellate division, by New York State Constitution, can only be decided by appellate judges, and only by a quorum of appellate judges, and certainly not by referees.  Nor is there a procedure for referee to even CONSIDER pleadings and issue "advisory opinions" ON THE PLEADINGS - without conducting evidentiary hearings that the referee was appointed to conduct.

So - the referee was appointed to conduct an evidentiary hearing.

The referee refused to hold such a hearing.

I continued to press to have such a hearing.

The court suspended me without ever giving me such a hearing that the court appointed the referee to conduct, and without ever opening my proceedings to the public and the press as I requested - because the court was afraid that it will not be able to control the damage if I start to call witnesses.

And, the court held against me that I did not appear at the illegal pre-mature "mitigation hearing".

And, the held against me that I did not "acknowledge my misconduct" - of making a motions to recuse Becker because of his legendary misconduct, and because I moved to vacate because attorney Follender defrauded the court and my clients by hiding testimony and even identity of his expert who testified at an un-noticed deposition.

You can check the file - a transcript of a deposition, by law, must be filed with the court, it is not there, nor the name of the testifying expert.

So, the fraud remains unpunished.

But the person who exposed fraud and misconduct has been suspended from the practice of law and precluded from providing services to the indigent people, including pro bono, as a civil rights attorney.

How appropriate.

How predictable.

One more interesting point.

Collateral estoppel does not apply between the adjudication of a violation of a court rule of frivolous conduct in a court proceedings and frivolous conduct in Rule 3.1 in attorney disciplinary proceedings, because the standards of proof are different.

The court rule (Becker's sanctions) were decided under the so-called "objective standard".

Rule 3.1 is to be decided (in a normal court, of course), under a "subjective standard", a much higher standard of proof.

Therefore, since there was a discrepancy between the standards, the evidentiary hearing was initially ordered by the court.

But, apparently, somebody from "up high" signaled to the court that that was not a good decision, that an evidentiary hearing in my case will expose to many "good people" in their, let's say, questionable conduct, and the court thwarted its own order of an evidentiary hearing and instead allowed a referee (a retired mentally and physically frail county court judge) to decide the motion for a summary judgment.

Another sweet fact is that "I did not express remorse".

I wholeheartedly agree.

I did not express remorse.

I did not do anything wrong.

Moreover, I pledge to continue to do the very same, for what I was suspended - expose judicial misconduct, as much as I can.

It is funny how the court claimed as an aggravating circumstance my alleged "pattern" of "abusing legal process" without actually pointing out what exactly constituted that "pattern".

The court actually has no authority to rely upon any mysterious and undisclosed "patterns" without first putting me on notice that certain evidence is presented against me as aggravating circumstances, and no such evidence was ever presented to me by the opposing party.

I also wrote on this blog that the 3rd Department and 4th Department Committees do not keep proper archives and do not have files, which I checked and ascertained through a federal lawsuit on behalf of my husband.

My access to my own alleged "file" was also blocked by the 3rd and 4th Department committees, so what kind of mysterious "pattern" of "legal abuse" the 4th Department relied upon as an aggravated circumstance, is anybody's guess.

And reliance of unknown and speculative (and possibly, non-existent) evidence without a notice and opportunity to be heard to the disciplined person is - that taboo word - unconstitutional.

I draw my readers' attention to some highlighted portions of the order of suspension.

The disciplinary court did not use, in the entire order, the word "Constitution" or "constitutional", and that is a SCREAMING omission.  The court was simply afraid to discuss those issues, because I was right and the petition had to be dismissed as unconstitutional infringement on free speech and a violation of my due process of law.

I, a victim of judicial misconduct of Judge Becker, and an attorney for victims of judicial misconduct of Judge Becker who sued Judge Becker in my professional capacity for his misconduct IN and OUT of court (out of court misconduct is NOT covered by judicial immunity, no matter how judges try to stretch that concept), and the lawsuit was dismissed without reaching the merits because of Becker's alleged absolute judicial immunity FOR MALICIOUS AND CORRUPT ACTS.

In other words, Becker escaped liability in a lawsuit only because of immunity, and the court did not even review or decide the issues whether Becker IN FACT engaged in malicious and corrupt acts on and off the bench.

Yet, Becker was allowed to assign himself to my cases, and, after I sued him, to sanction me in those cases in retaliation for my lawsuit.

And I, a victim of Becker's misconduct, was punished by revocation of my livelihood for exposing that misconduct.

Very logical.

Very just.

And very predictable for the New York "justice system".

As to the "screaming omission" by the disciplinary court - that the court was afraid to put into the order of suspension the word "constitutional". 

That is done not to create a precedent, to prevent further research, requiring the public to actually go to the court in Rochester, NY and look through the actual denied motions, which most people will not do.

Also, all motions that were denied, were raising meritorious constitutional issues that the corrupt prosecution could not contest, and a reasonable explanation of the denial of such constitutional motions was simply not available and not possible. 

The court denied ALL of those motions WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION OR REASONING.

Including my request to disqualify the prosecutor, on constitutional grounds, because the prosecutor appeared as a witness against me in a dismissed criminal proceeding.

So, as of November 13, 2015, the "effective date" of my order of suspension, the following law in the State of New York is official:

1) you have to request a court by motion to waive your own privacy in a proceeding that is sealed only to protect your privacy (even if the New York State Court of Appeals says the contrary);

2) making a motion to recuse a judge is a death sentence for an attorney, so, dear readers, DO NOT expect that ANY attorneys - after this order of suspension - will yield to your requests to make a motion to recuse on your behalf, no matter how bad the judicial misconduct will be.

You will tell your attorney - but you MUST make such a motion.

And your attorney will tell you - do you know what happened to attorney Tatiana Neroni?  I do not want that to happen to me.  So, no, I won't make that motion.

That means, ladies and gentlemen, that you are now STUCK with biased judges in your cases.

That is the true meaning of my order of suspension - intimidation of the legal profession to NEVER try to make motions to recuse a judge, to NEVER try to sue the judge, because ALL THREE sanctions for which I was suspended were imposed upon me by Judge Becker IMMEDIATELY AFTER I SUED HIM on behalf of myself and my clients.

And, as an icing on the cake:

My constitutional motions that the disciplinary court mentions, without mentioning the word "constitutional", and which the court consistently denied without an explanation - those denied motions raised the EXACT SAME ISSUES that were raised in the Final Report and Recommendations of the NYS Statewide Commission for Attorney Discipline filed on September 24, 2015, and in 4th Department Court Clerk participated.

So, on September 24, 2015, the 4th Department asserted to Judge Lippman, as a point of legal reform the very same things that it denied to me in "various motions", without an explanation.

And, the very last, but certainly not least.

The super-majority of the disciplinary committee were practicing attorneys, acting to eliminate me as their competitor, without any appropriate control from a neutral state body - a federal antitrust violation, acknowledged as such as of February 25, 2015 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission.

So, the criminal cartel struck my license.

For not feeling remorse in front of that criminal cartel for doing nothing wrong, for doing my duty to my clients.

I do not feel remorse.

And the order was made by a criminal cartel.

And, the order was done on the eve of a federal court deadline when I was supposed to file a Rule 11 (sanctions) motion against - guess who - Chief Judge Lippman - for frivolous conduct in two courts.

So, they suspended my state law license right before the deadline, and now the New York State Attorney General is trying to intimidate me by claiming that the motion to recuse the court that I filed yesterday was unauthorized practice of law - even though suspension of a state law license does not automatically lead to suspension of federal law license, and I am still on "active" status in federal court.

As to the hilarious order of suspension, here it is.




Order of suspension entered. Per Curiam Opinion: Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in 2009 by the Appellate Division, Third Department, and formerly maintained an office in Delhi. 

Her office address currently on file with the Office of Court Administration is a post office box located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. 

In 2013, a petition was filed in the Third Department asserting four charges of misconduct against respondent. 

Charges I through III allege that she engaged in frivolous conduct in three client matters, resulting in the entry of three trial court orders imposing against her monetary sanctions in the total amount of $5,000. 

Charge IV alleges that respondent failed to comply with the sanctions orders because she did not pay the sanctions to the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection. 

Respondent filed in the Third Department an answer denying certain allegations of the petition and asserting several affirmative defenses. 

With respect to Charge IV, respondent asserted that she had deposited in escrow with the Delaware County Clerk funds in payment of the sanctions, which were remitted by the County Clerk to the Lawyer’s Fund in October 2013. 

The Committee on Professional Standards for the Third Judicial Department thereafter filed a motion for an order declaring that the pleadings raise no issues of fact, sustaining Charges I through III, pursuant to the doctrine of collateral estoppel, and sustaining Charge IV based on the assertion in respondent’s answer that she had paid the sanctions to the Delaware County Clerk, rather than to the Lawyer’s Fund. 

Respondent opposed that motion and cross-moved for an order, inter alia, dismissing the petition, recusing the Third Department and disqualifying the Committee on Professional Standards on various grounds. 

By order entered June 11, 2014, the Third Department transferred the matter to this Court for disposition pursuant to the rules of this Court. 

Although respondent filed in this Court certain motions for an order vacating the transfer order, recusing this Court and disqualifying the Grievance Committees for the Fourth Judicial Department on various grounds, this Court denied those motions and appointed a referee to conduct a hearing on any issues of fact raised by the pleadings and to make advisory findings on the collateral estoppel effect, if any, of the sanctions orders set forth in Charges I through III. 

The Referee has filed a report making an advisory finding that the pleadings raise no issues of fact requiring a hearing in relation to Charges I through III because the doctrine of collateral estoppel precludes respondent from relitigating the issues that were determined against her in the prior sanctions proceedings, namely, that she had engaged in frivolous conduct in three client matters

The Referee further found that no hearing was necessary on Charge IV because that charge was established by respondent’s assertion in her answer that she had paid the sanctions to the Delaware County Clerk, rather than to the Lawyer’s Fund. 

The Grievance Committee moves to confirm the report of the Referee, and respondent moves for an order, inter alia, disaffirming and vacating the report of the Referee, recusing this Court, disqualifying the Grievance Committee, and dismissing the petition on numerous procedural and substantive grounds

This Court scheduled the matter for an appearance on May 26, 2015, to hear oral argument of motions directed to the report of the Referee and to afford respondent an opportunity to be heard in mitigation. 

Respondent, however, did not appear on that date and, in the notices of her aforementioned motions, she stated that she was moving the Court on a “submitted basis.” 

Respondent additionally wrote to the Clerk of this Court contending that the Court was without authority to hear matters in mitigation without first determining whether she had violated any disciplinary rules. 

We confirm the advisory finding of the Referee regarding the collateral estoppel effect of the sanction orders underlying Charges I through III. 

The record establishes that whether respondent engaged in frivolous conduct is an issue that was raised, necessarily decided, and material in those prior proceedings (see generally Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d 494, 500) and, in each proceeding, the court imposing sanctions issued a written decision specifying the objectionable conduct and why it was frivolous. 

Furthermore, respondent has failed to establish that she did not have a full and fair opportunity to contest those prior determinations. 

The Third Department affirmed on appeal the sanctions underlying Charges I and III (see M&C Bros., Inc. v Torum, 101 AD3d 1329, 1329-1330; Shields v Carbone, 99 AD3d 1100, 1102-1103), and respondent did not appeal the sanctions underlying Charge II, thereby indicating her willingness to be bound by that determination (see Matter of Capoccia, 272 AD2d 838, 846-847). 

With respect to Charge IV, we dismiss it as a matter of law because it fails to allege a cognizable violation of any disciplinary rule

The petition alleges that respondent “failed to comply with a ruling of a tribunal” and violated rule 3.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct when she failed to pay the monetary sanctions to the Lawyer’s Fund. 

Rule 3.1, however, prohibits a lawyer from engaging in frivolous conduct and does not concern a lawyer’s alleged failure to comply with the ruling of a tribunal. 

In our view, the disciplinary rule most relevant to the substantive allegations in Charge IV is rule 3.4 (c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Although that rule provides that a lawyer shall not “disregard” a ruling of a tribunal, the petition alleges only that respondent “failed to comply” with the sanctions orders. 

Based on those circumstances, we conclude that Charge IV fails as a matter of law and must be dismissed. 

As a matter of procedure, we reject respondent’s contention that this Court has engaged in “gross continuing judicial misconduct” by, inter alia, refusing to enter an order unsealing all records relating to the charges herein and opening the disciplinary proceeding to the public based on her waiver of confidentiality submitted to the Clerk of this Court. Judiciary Law § 90 (10) empowers only the Justices of this Court, by written order and “upon good cause being shown,” to permit disclosure of all or any part of confidential disciplinary records. 

In this case, the Clerk of the Court advised respondent that only the Court had authority to unseal the disciplinary proceeding and, therefore, a motion to the Court was required to unseal disciplinary records or open the proceedings to the public. 

Respondent, however, never made the necessary application to the Court to obtain that relief. We have considered respondent’s remaining contentions and conclude that they lack merit. 

Based on the record herein, we dismiss Charge IV, deny respondent’s motions seeking dismissal of the petition, disqualification of the Grievance Committee and other relief, confirm the Referee’s advisory determination regarding the collateral estoppel effect of the sanctions orders underlying Charges I through III, and conclude that respondent has violated rule 3.1 (a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0). 

In determining an appropriate sanction, we have considered that respondent has failed to acknowledge or express remorse for the misconduct

We have additionally considered that the frivolous conduct at issue herein was not an isolated incident and involved a pattern of abuse of the legal process

Accordingly, after consideration of all of the factors in this matter, we conclude that respondent should be suspended for a period of two years. PRESENT: SMITH, J.P., CARNI, VALENTINO, AND DEJOSEPH, JJ. (Filed Nov. 13, 2015.)


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