"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 30, 2015

Plagiarism, frivolous conduct and catering for himself and his friends as Jonathan Lippman's legacy of "social justice" and the timid mainstream media

Recently, I ran a blog about a bad recent case of judicial corruption in Florida.

As part of that blog I provided a link to a YouTube video showing how a protestor was videotaping how reporters from mainstream media were walking towards the courthouse to attend a conference held by prosecutors (after, as a related court order said, parking in a secure parking lot provided by the prosecution) and completely ignored pleas by the reporter who asserted he was a 15-year fraud investigator, to look at the evidence he had of judicial corruption in that same courthouse.

One of the reporters told him to "talk to her manager about it".

Apparently, managers in the "free" mainstream media define what KIND of news is reportable and what kind is not.

Here is also a link to a 2009 law review written by a then law student who actually did a survey and put together an "economic model" of judicial corruption in the United States.  While I disagree with the author of the note on many points he is making (and will run a separate blog analyzing that particle law review article), he did point out that judicial corruption is a big problem in the United States, with 2% of the U.S. population reporting that they bribed judges only in one year, 2011, and explained some mechanisms of how judicial corruption works and what motivates it.

One of the big motivators, as reported in the law review, is unaccountability and failiure of attorneys who know about corruption to report it.  

The author of the law review, Stratos Pahis, asserted that it is more likely that corruption is reported in a criminal case when a criminal defendant who bribed the judge did not get what he expected from the judge, than when a bribe is made in a civil proceeding.  Also, the law review article noted that the higher the "honor" and "prestige" of judicial office (appellate judge vs trial judge, federal judge vs state judge), the higher is the price-tag of the bribe - and that is according to review of bribes of judges who were already caught and prosecuted for bribes, a very rare occurrence.

Now, New York Times claimed yesterday that Lippman leaves his office with a "legacy of reforms inspired for social justice".

This statement is a slap in the face of many people, and a slap in my face, personally. 

I stand as one of the attorneys that New York State "incapacitated" by suspending my law license BECAUSE I reported and criticized judicial corruption.  My law license was suspended BECAUSE I represented my clients in accordance with my oath of office and BECAUSE I made motions to recuse a corrupt judge (who ran from the bench 4 years after imposing sanctions upon me anyway, after NYS Comptroller found improprieties in the office he represented as an attorney going back 30 years, all those years when he was representing Delaware County and its Social Services).

I stand as an author of many points proclaimed by Lippman in his "reforms" that Lippman plagiariarized from my court pleadings, while at the same time having those civil rights lawsuits dismissed, me and my husband on whose behalf I filed those lawsuits, punished for "frivolous conduct".

In fact, Lippman continues to fight the lawsuit from which he plagiarized his "attorney discipline reform", at the appellate level.  Many of the same topics that he asserts in his newly-proclaimed attorney disciplinary rules were asserted in the lawsuit Neroni v Zayas, 3:13-cv-127 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in 2013.  

Lippman fought tooth and claw to have the lawsuit dismissed, succeeded, while at the same time "creating" a Commission discussing the very same issues as reform issues.  

The Commission issued a final report on September 24, 2015, one day after my husband filed his appellant's brief appealing the dismissal of Neroni v Zayas, and while Lippman, 3rd Department Chief Judge Peters, Chief Attorney for 3rd Department Disciplinary Committee Duffy and New York State Attorney General Schneiderman continued to fight tooth and claw in appellate court what was already proclaimed by the Commission as meritorious issues for the needed social justice reforms.

Then, Lippman fought tooth and claw opposing acceptance of the brief by the federal appellate court, claiming it is too long because it addressed "incoherent" and "rambling" complaint in the court below (the complaint was coherent enough for Lippman to plagiarizing half of it for his various "reforms").  

In fact, the brief was long because: 

(1) the complaint was long, having to point out many unconstitutional issues in New York attorney disciplinary system (many of them Lippman left intact in the new rules, I will run a separate blog on that);  

(2) the dismissal was in two stages and by two different orders, requiring to address issues in both orders and because 

(3) Mr. Neroni in his pro se brief had to address Lippman's conduct in creation the Commission consisting of Lippman's co-defendants in Neroni v Zayas who were supposed to regurgitate his ideas from the lawsuit they asked the court to dismiss as their own ideas and as "reforms" for "social justice".

Then, Lippman's court system stripped me of my state law license right before my deadline to file a motion for sanctions in federal court against Lippman for frivolous conduct in Neroni v Zayas on state and federal level (nice when you as a litigant has such a control over your opponent's attorney, isn't it?), and federal court automatically stripped me of my federal law license based on Lippman's court system stripping of my state law license.

Then, on December 18, 2015, Lippman's counsel (NYS Assistant Attorney General Andrew Ayers) authored an Appellee brief continuing to claim that issues raised in Neroni v Zayas are properly dismissed as having "no merit".

Then, on December 29, 2015, while continuing to fight Neroni v Zayas appeal, Lippman issued new attorney disciplinary rules that reflected some of the same issues that Neroni v Zayas raised and announced a press-release assigning credit to everyone by Mr. Neroni or me as authors of many ideas in those new rules.  Lippman did not notify the federal appellate court of the issuance of his rules or of the fact that his rules closely tracked Neroni v Zayas, dismissed at Lippman's request.

By the way, Lippman's court system is still stalling my FOIL request for affidavits (public comment), public records submitted to the NYS Commission for Statewide Attorney Discipline that were used by the Commission as a basis of its final report.

It is interesting to mention that Lippman also plagiarized my ideas in the pleadings in Mr. Neroni's other lawsuit, Neroni v Becker, filed in the summer of 2012, in his 2013 "Cameras in the courtroom" speech.

There, I, on behalf of Mr. Neroni, contested constitutionality of criminal prohibition on videotaping of open court proceedings as a violation of litigants' due process of law.

Mr. Neroni and I got slapped with a dismissal of Neroni v Becker lawsuit and with sanctions for $6,995 for that lawsuit.

Lippman got credit for the idea and for his "legacy of promoting social justice".

Mr. Neroni had his lawsuit in Neroni v Zayas dismissed, I had my law license revoked in state and federal courts, Mr. Neroni was slapped with an anti-filing injunction of ALL of his civil rights lawsuits for the future unless he meets impossible conditions of a biased court, specifically for Neroni v Becker and Neroni v Zayas, and Lippman got credit for our ideas from those lawsuits, as for "legacy of promoting social justice".

In Neroni v Zayas, Mr. Neroni raised issues that Lippman's court system prosecutes suspended and disbarred attorneys for unauthorized practice of law for the same conduct which is allowed to unlicensed individual, as an equal protection challenge.

The 2nd Department created a precedent in June of 2015 punishing an attorney with denial of reinstatement because he engaged in paralegal and expert services, and Mr. Neroni raised it in his Neroni v Zayas Rule 60 motion to vacate at the trial level and on appeal.  Lippman continues to fight these arguments on both levels.

Moreover,  Lippman had Neroni v Zayas dismissed as "meritless", and then instituted a program "Legal Hand" based on a "public-private" partnership that received an "anonymous" donation of one million dollars from a "private benefactor" (Lippman's court system stalls my FOIL request on the identity of the benefactor and financial documents pertaining to the partnership), and practically allows and encourages unauthorized practice of law by unlicensed volunteers, something that a suspended or disbarred attorney would not be allowed to do.

In Neroni v Zayas, Mr. Neroni raised issues that disparity in rules between Appellate Divisions deprive disciplined attorneys, himself included, of equal protection of laws.  Lippman had his lawsuit dismissed as meritless and then adopted that idea in the new rules and got credit for the idea and for the "legacy of social justice".

Lippman's "legacy" is also:

  1.  to pitch and cast a deciding vote for his friend Sheldon Silver in a lawsuit as soon as he became Chief Justice
  2. to stall publishing Sheldon Silver's status as an attorney disbarred-by-operation-of-law after his recent conviction for federal crimes, 
  3. to try, with the help of his now-convicted childhood friend Sheldon Silver, to add 10 years to his own "service" as the Chief Judge through (failed) attempts to amend the NYS Constitution (quoting a "shortage" of judges no less, in a State with nearly 400,000 lawyers as a judicial pool to draw from), and
  4. to raise judicial salaries to $203,000 when the average income of a New Yorker is 4 times less and when the reported average salary of solo attorneys (who could be used for recruitment of judges) is times less than the current judicial salaries, making the reasons for pay raise contrived and the sort of "legacy" that ensures favorable rulings of courts for attorney Lippman in the future (Chief Administrative Judge Marks testified before the Commission begging for a pay raise on behalf of all judges, and such testimony could not happen without Lippman's approval).

That's quite a bit of "social justice" right there, that I know about, but there is more.

I surveyed civil rights lawsuits against Lippman on  There are quite a few brought against Lippman over the years.  Most of them are dismissed, but some are outstanding at the time Lippman is leaving his office.

Those lawsuits are also Lippman's "legacy" that the timid mainstream media refuses to address.

I do not know why, because, over 1.5 years of operating this blog not one judge I called corrupt and exposed for corruption tried to sue me for defamation.

You know why?  Because truth is an absolute defense, and because such a lawsuit will involve discovery.

That's why Judge Becker preferred to use the court "rule of frivolous conduct" to retaliate against me (so far successfully) by imposing upon me sanctions for making motions to recuse and for having my law license taken based on those sanctions.

Had he sued me for defamation for what I said in those motions to recuse, I would have been (1) immune from suit on the basis of litigation immunity;  (2) had absolute defense of truth and (3) would be entitled to extensive discovery that could have proven more corruption than I knew about.

So, the media's fear of defamation lawsuits for judges as the reason of not covering judicial corruption is wholly unjustified.

I will run a separate blog covering the "legacy" of lawsuits Lippman leaves behind, including the ongoing lawsuit against Lippman by - guess who - The New York State Court Officers' Association - in a separate blog.  

One very prominent feature that was NOT present in any of Lippman's speeches or rules he issued is how Lippman tried to fight judicial corruption.  

A survey of Lippman's speeches will find only flowery language praising our "best of the best" judiciary, with no word spoken, not a peep, about existence of judicial corruption or measures undertaken by Lippman to fight it.

That was despite the outcry from the public about judicial corruption, despite mutliple submissions and testimony on the subject before numerous commissions established by Lippman, including the Commission for Attorney Discipline and the Commission for Judicial Pay Raise.

In the new attorney disciplinary rules, protection for attorneys reporting judicial corruption is prominently absent.  As an attorney whose license was suspended for making a motion to recuse a corrupt judge, I know what it means.

Attorneys who referred clients to me to make motions to recuse because they did not want themselves blackballed, and because "I had nothing to lose", knew what it means.

Attorneys who did not report Kids for Cash Corruption in Pennsylvania or Greylord case corruption in Illinois, knew what it means.

Attorneys in New York stripped of their law licenses for criticism of judicial corruption (I am only the latest edition, there is a number of attorneys who lost their licenses because of criticism of judicial corruption), know what it means.

My recent suspension was to reinforce a point to the "honorable" legal profession of the State of New York a simple "pay to play" rule - keep mum about judicial corruption and you will be fine, report it and you will lose your "state-issued" license, and will be unable to earn for yourself, your family and your child (I have a minor son).

But, not exposing judicial corruption is enabling it.   

Once again, I will cover Lippman's "legacy of lawsuits" filed against him in my next blog. 

I will conclude my blog with a quote from Lippman's interview to the New York Times:


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