"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.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Disability of Family Court Judge Mary Rita Connerton - headaches from constitutional arguments

In 2014 I filed a motion to vacate sanctions against me as a pro bono counsel in a custody proceedings, based on new and previously unavailable evidence of misconduct of Judge Becker who imposed the sanctions.

The case started in New York where sanctions were imposed upon me by Judge Becker for making in 2011 a motion to recuse him imposed 3 days after I sued him on behalf of my Family Court client Alecia Bracci, myself and my husband Frederick J. Neroni.

The custody case proceeded to Pennsylvania in 2012 (where I was not an attorney of record), and then in North Carolina in 2014 (where I similarly was not an attorney of record).

In both of those states, Pennsylvania in 2012 and in North Carolina in 2015, findings were made by courts consistent with my arguments on behalf of my pro bono client Alecia Bracci (for which arguments I was sanctioned).

Judge Frank B. Revoir, Jr., assigned instead of now-recused and not-yet-retired Becker, yelled at me in August of 2014 at the oral argument on the motion and informed me, on record, that he considers making "alternative arguments" in Family Court as "lying".

I have the transcript on file where Judge Revoir says that.

The New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct refused to discipline Judge Revoir for his statement, as well as for his actions in first claiming he has no jurisdiction over the case and then issuing an arrest warrant against a litigant in the case as if he had jurisdiction, and that arrest warrant was used by corrupt Delaware County officials to plunge both the young mother from the custody proceedings and the maternal grandmother into criminal prosecutions against them.   

"Coincidentally" the "alternative arguments" that Judge Revoir deemed as "lying" were constitutional arguments in support of my motion.

Judge Revoir recused from the case before deciding my motion to vacate sanctions.

Judge Mary Rita Connerton from Binghamton was assigned instead.

By that time I withdrew from representation of Alecia Bracci, and Alecia Bracci was assigned another counsel, Rosemarie Richards.

Judge Connerton scheduled a conference where Alecia Bracci and her new counsel Rosemarie Richards, attorney for the child and Ryan Adams appeared (Adams appeared by phone).

I was not allowed into that conference because I no longer represented Alecia Bracci.

Alecia Bracci later told me that Judge Connerton referred to my still pending motion to vacate custody determinations against Alecia Bracci AND sanctions against myself and Alecia Bracci and on my behalf (Judge Revoir recused without deciding it).

Alecia Bracci told me that her new attorney Rosemarie Richards did not discuss with there contents of my motion on Alecia Bracci's behalf (which was still pending and not withdrawn), and showed no indication that she was aware of the motion or read it.

According to Alecia Bracci, Judge Connerton claimed at the conference where I was not allowed to attend, that the mere idea of reviewing my motion (containing multiple constitutional arguments, with multiple documentary exhibits based on new evidence) gives her a headache.

After hearing about Judge Connerton's ex parte characterization of my motion to my opponent Ryan Adams without my presence, and of her plans as to that motion, similarly without my presence, I requested Delaware County Family Court for access to the audio recording of that conference (the conference was officially audio-recorded, according to Alecia Bracci).  

It is easy for a litigant in Family Court in New York to see whether the record is being made because there is a recording monitor facing the parties in front of the judge, and the judge pushes the recording button which sets recording monitor into motion.

I had no doubt that Alecia Bracci was telling me the truth as to what Judge Connerton said in an ex parte manner at the conference about my motion.

Delaware County Family Court denied me access to the audio recording.

Judge Connerton sent out an official letter claiming that she never discussed my case at the conference where I was not present.

Then, Judge Connerton denied my motion to vacate sanctions against me without a due process hearing, and in reliance on the record before a recused judge, a clear due process violation.

Judge Connerton's actions in deciding a case on the record before a recused judge, and after her ex parte statement that having to review my motion gives her a headache, indicated that Judge Connerton did not read my motion at all, she simply rubber-stamped the convenient label of "collateral estoppel" on something that she did not read because "it gave her a headache" to simply think about reading my motion, containing a lot of documentary exhibits including several audio recordings.

Naturally, I was not able to appeal on full record pertaining to the case because my access to the conference where Judge Connerton discussed the case was blocked and because Judge Connerton officially stated, in a letter, that she never discussed my case ex parte at the conference where I was not present and was not allowed to be present.

Only recently, a witness provided to me a copy of the transcript of that conference in October of 2014 where I was not allowed to attend.

I reviewed it and saw that, as I thought all along, Alecia Bracci told me the truth.

Judge Connerton DID discuss my motion on record.

Judge Connerton DID state that the motion refers to me only and not to Alecia Bracci (which indicates Judge Connerton did not read the motion).

Since there was no opposition from Alecia Bracci's new assigned attorney Rosemarie Richards, it is apparent that assigned attorney Rosemarie Richards also did not read the motion I made on behalf of HER client, and sold out her client by not insisting on adjudicating the PENDING motion to vacate custody determinations by Judge Becker based on new, previously undiscoverable, evidence office disqualification and misconduct to preside over Alecia Bracci's custody proceedings in the first place.

The beauty of the transcript was also that you know who was listed as Alecia Bracci's counsel on "appearances"?

Your humble servant.

Even though the court had my filed Notarized Consent to Change Counsel to Pro Se, signed by Alecia Bracci after we understood that the court will punish Alecia Bracci simply because she is my client if I do not withdraw (as it happened before), even though the court had on file the application of Alecia Bracci for an assigned counsel which was GRANTED by the court;  

even though the court had an order of assignment of Rosemarie Richards to the case as Alecia Bracci's new counsel;  

even though it was Rosemarie Richards' statements that the transcript mentioned as Alecia Bracci's counsel and not mine, and my statements do not appear in the transcript; 

even thought judge Connerton asked Rosemarie Richards questions about Alecia Bracci's position in the proceeding and not me who, according to the appearances on the front page of the transcript, was attorney of record for Alecia Bracci, 

the front page of the transcript was fabricated and fraudulently showed me as attorney for Alecia Bracci, contrary to court records.

This is not the first, and not the second time when court records are misrepresented in order to absolve a judge from liability for misconduct and to validate fabricated sanctions against me.

It happened in Bracci v Adams, Delaware County Family Court, Family File No. 6995.

It happened in Shields v Carbone, Delaware County Supreme Court, Index No. 2009-440.

It happened in M & C Brothers v Torum, a Delaware County Supreme Court case, Index No. 2007-280.

It happened in the Mokay v Mokay case, Delaware County Supreme Court, Index No.  2007-695, where a retired judge and his son, as well as another son-of-a-judge and a husband-of-a-now-law-clerk-of-a-judge, committed fraud and fraud upon the court that, if prosecuted, will put the son-of-a-judge Richard Harlem away for the rest of his life, for prosecuting a case, submitting multiple sworn statements to the court and obtaining a money judgment based on alleged attorney fees on behalf of a person who never hired them in the first place.

It happened in the Department of Environmental Conservation case against my husband where I was brought as a necessary party  by the DEC while the same DEC at the same time was claiming I was not a necessary party in those proceedings, Delaware County Supreme Court, Index No. 2011-413.

All of the above cases where misrepresentations were made and condoned by the court were with Judge Becker as a presiding judge - what a surprise!

Another case where fabrication of court transcripts were discovered was my husband's disciplinary case where the archive relied upon disappeared, and my case where court records disappeared, archive relied upon disappeared and two court transcripts relied upon were fabricated, with evidence of fabrication (audio recordings of conferences that were allegedly reflected in the transcripts) were provided to the court.

Those who made misrepresentations or were responsible for fabrications of court records, were not disciplined, neither attorneys nor judges, multiple judges.

Instead, my license was suspended for blowing the whistle on that misconduct.

The latest fabrication, of my alleged appearance in the conference where I was not allowed to appear, was not a surprise to me, it was part of the pattern that spans back years.

Yet, there are glitches in that fabrication, visible to a naked eye.

If I was present at the conference, I knew about the conference and what was happening at the conference.

I immediately addressed the issue of ex parte communication of Judge Connerton back in 2014, before the fabricated appearances in the transcript were created, the court blocked my access to the audio recording of the conference, there are documents on file showing that at the time of the conferences I was not Alecia Bracci's attorney of record, but Rosemarie Richards was, by an order of assignment.

Judge Connerton addressed the issue of the ex parte conference and clearly assured me, in a letter she sent to me in 2014, before the transcript was created, and stated in that letter that she did not discuss my motion to vacate sanctions in that case behind my back.

In that letter Judge Connerton's statement is inconsistent with appearances reflected in the later-fabricated first page of the transcript of that conference.

Judge Connerton does not state that Mrs. Neroni has no right to claim that the judge engaged in an ex parte communication when Mrs. Neroni, according to the court records, was present at the conference.

But - had she said that, I would have had the right to claim access to the record and include it into the Record on Appeal, or would have a right to use it in making an immediate motion to recuse and vacate any decisions Judge Connerton made.  That was not the plan.

The plan was to lie - twice.

Once to me in 2014, blocking my access to the audio recording of the conference and preventing me from prosecuting an appeal or making a motion to vacate Judge Connerton's decision which could stall my disciplinary action.

And the second time in 2015, by clumsily lying on the appearance page that I was actually present at the conference.

This is, by the way, not the first time when "lying-through-appearances-in-the-transcript" occurs in Delaware County Family Court.

In yet another case, a case of my client, appearances were fabricated to not show that children were present during Judge Becker's diatribe during which he claimed that a female child present in the courtroom "is not college material" - in opposition to my argument on behalf of the child's father that he wants the child (who was in foster care at the time) to be educated in school so that she receives a high school diploma that allows her admission into colleges, other than the IEP diploma that is not accepted by New York colleges for purposes of admission.

Federal law required what the father asked.  Yet, Becker had to protect his client William Moon, Commissioner of Social Services and the child's legal guardian, who obviously violated the child's rights by not providing to her the required education.  After all, Moon was Becker's client and buddy of several decades.

So, instead of following the law (state and federal) and granting my client's request Becker made a disdainful discriminatory female-hating comment that the female child sitting in that same courtroom "is not college material anyway".

And, to conceal the fact that he said that in front of that child and caused her shock, humiliation and tears, appearances on the transcript were changed, and the stenographer (a court employee) refused to change appearances when the mistake was called out to her attention.

What am I going to do with this new evidence of lies by Judge Connerton?

Of course, I am not going to let this slide, especially that because of Judge Connerton's lies, other fraudsters, in the Appellate Division 4th Department, were able to take my law license.

Of course, I will complain about Connerton, just to make the record, to our Glorified State Shredder of Complaint Against Judges, the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct.

Of course, I will take the necessary legal steps to try to vacate decisions of Judge Connerton based on her adamant lie, ex parte communication and misconduct in my case.

I do not know what will be the results, but I will do that.   Judicial misconduct should not be allowed to escape without accountability OR exposure to public scrutiny.  If NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct does not want to do its job, public scrutiny will be here, through reading this blog.

I will report results of my efforts pertaining to Judge Connerton's disability, headaches from constitutional arguments, here.

I will also request removal of Judge Connerton because of her self-admitted disability, headaches she develops just thinking of reviewing motions containing constitutional arguments.

Such a disability in a judge is incompatible with the duties of judicial office, so Judge Connerton should seek a profession where her duties do not cause her headaches.

I wonder, in how many more proceedings in Family Court Judge Connerton ignored constitutional arguments because of her disability.

NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct should address the matter.  If it doesn't, I will continue to address it anyway on my blog.

Stay tuned.

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