"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, December 1, 2015

Chief Administrative Judge Marks: New York is an expensive state to live in, and NY state economy is strong, so give New York judges 35 million dollars to bring their $174,000 salaries to the $203,000 level

New York State Commission for Legislative, Executive and Judicial Compensation has posted the transcript and the video of the yesterday's public hearing dedicated ONLY to judicial compensation.  

The Commission did not indicate when - if at all - public hearings will be held on legislative, administrative or legislative compensation.

The first witness was the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York Lawrence Marks.

From Judge Marks I learnt interesting things.

For example, Judge Marks claimed that New York state economy is going strong, and there is no reason for New York taxpayers not to be able to afford a $35,000 increase (and that is only the declared increase, Judge Marks did not indicate how he arrived at such a number, the number is likely to be much higher, considering additionally increased benefits).

Judge Marks seems to wear blinders.

Judge Marks seems not to know (or care) that New York is the leader among the states from which residents are fleeing, due to high corruption, poor economic and job prospects and super-high taxes.

Judge Marks seems not to know (or care) that a recent settlement to have poor criminal defendants be represented by counsel at arraignments (which is not happening now, in violation of people's constitutional right to counsel at important stages of criminal litigation) had to be phased in and considered only a handful of counties - because of budgetary concerns.

Judge Marks seems not to know (or care) about the real state of economy, as presented by the report I blogged about yesterday which puts New York State economy at the 46th place among 51 states.

As to the fact that New York is an "expensive state to live" - I wholeheartedly agree.

Yet, that does not mean that the current judicial salary of $174,000 is inadequate.

After all, the federal poverty level set for all states across the country is $11,700 for a family of one.

Judges currently get $174,000 - that is over 10 times of poverty level.

Those are the same judges who throw in jail parents who are unable to pay child support because they are unemployed, cannot find a job or cannot find a paying job.

These are the same judges who deem that a person can survive on a salary at or lower than poverty guidelines - and pay child support on top of that, or go to jail.

Apparently, there are two poverty levels established, as of yesterday, in the State of New York:

1) the federal poverty level of $11,700 + 135% = $15,795 per year per person (below this level of actual /not imputed/ income New York State child support statute does not allow judges to charge more than $25 a month in child support, which judges regularly and wholeheartedly ignore); and

2) the judicial poverty level of $174,000 per year.

And that is when the average income of a New Yorker - an average between all billionaires and all people who are simply scraping by - is around $52,000 per person per year.

Yet, New York judges consider it fair and morally appropriate to ask for a pay raise when the state economy is going to h*ll, fast.

So, there are no surprises at the level of integrity of New York judiciary.

Oh - and Lawrence Marks is the boss of Judge Coccoma who just hired an attorney who was booted from the 3rd Department for unethical conduct and who, through fraud upon voters, got elected to also be a judge - that is Christina Ryba.

I bet that Christina Ryba's "compensation" is set well over $100,000, over twice the income of an average New Yorker.

It is apparent that hiring Christina Ryba was necessary only as a consolation job (and the letter offer actually said that nearly verbatim), yet was at the expense of taxpayers.

The fraudster Christina Ryba is the future beneficiary of the judicial pay raise, because she is not an exception, rather she exemplifies the caliber of people who occupy benches in New York courts.

Unless you have an ability to brazenly commit fraud and no less brazenly profit by it - like Christina Ryba - you will not be able to get to the bench in New York or survive there.

And these fraudsters, who get to the bench to draw an enormous and already inflated salaries and to cover themselves with self-gifted immunity for CORRUPT acts, for acts in violation of their constitutional oath of office, are adamantly claiming, through Judge Marks as their mouthpiece, that they do not get enough and that they "deserve" more from the already squeezed-to-death New Yorkers.

I will continue reporting on the speeches at the November 30, 2015 hearing before the New York State Commission for Judicial Compensation, with scans - today for some reason my blogger platform did not accept pictures.

Stay tuned.

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