"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.

Friday, November 20, 2015

When your opponent in litigation takes your attorney's license

Imagine that you sue somebody for something wrong done to you, let's say, an assault upon you, or a battery, or fraud.

Imagine that you hired an attorney who represents you in that lawsuit, paid that attorney, and that attorney made good advances for you in litigation, and your position in litigation, because of services of that attorney, is promising.

Imagine that, in the middle of your litigation, the person you are suing takes your attorney's license, and thus you find yourself without an attorney and with a necessity to find another attorney, paid him or her again, get him or her familiarized with your case again, and, possibly, lose all the progress gained by your attorney, because in many cases progress made by attorneys is also based on attorney's record in litigation and experience in particular proceedings, which might not be matched by the new attorney.   

You think it is not possible?

It is, if your opponent in litigation is the government.

That is exactly the situation my clients are now.

I sued the State of New York on behalf of one set of clients in federal court.

I represented a client sued by the State of New York in federal court.

On November 17, 2015 was my deadline to file a motion for sanctions against the State of New York and its various public officials, for frivolous conduct in two federal courts.  The lawsuit was on behalf of a client.

On November 13, 2015, four days before the deadline to ask a federal court to sanction the State of New York for frivolous conduct, State of New York as a licensing authority suspended my law license and gained advantage in litigation against all my clients.

So, as you see, the State of New York as a party-opponent to my clients in litigation can simply take the law license of their attorney and deprive them of effective legal services this way - after I provided those services for those particular clients for YEARS, and after it will cost them dearly to replace me as an attorney, because a new attorney will have to be explained everything that happened in the YEARS of prior litigation, and read the record of the prior litigation - which, at the average trial attorney's hourly rate, looks like a punishment of my clients for opposing the State of New York in litigation.

That is exactly why I have been advocating for years that regulation of attorneys by the government while attorneys may have a duty to oppose the government, sue the government, investigate the government, challenge misconduct of the government  - is completely unconscionable, unconstitutional, undemocratic, undermines independence of the legal profession and deprives people of truly effective and independent representation in court.

So, next time you try to hire somebody to sue the State of New York, or in defense of a lawsuit against you by the State of New York, note why you will  have a difficulty finding an attorney willing to represent you.  

Because they wouldn't want to lose their law license and livelihood in the middle of that representation, if the State of New York chooses to gain advantage in litigation this way, yet again.

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