"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, January 15, 2016

Attorneys, judges, sexism and sex crimes - #TexasValues

To impose sexual attentions on an unwilling person is a crime in all states of the United States, and under federal law.

In fact, there is a whole variety of sex crimes characterizing a variety of sexual criminal acts, from unwanted sexual touching to unwanted sexual intercourse.  They are all prohibited by law.

Lawyers, and, especially lawyers who are judges are supposed to (1) know that law and (2) abide by it.



For example, in November of 2015, an attorney was automatically disbarred in New York on conviction for rape.

Moreover, sexism and unwanted sex-laden remarks can also get employers, colleagues and especially attorneys into trouble - and judges are attorneys.

For example, occupational sexism in the workplace is a vigorously litigated civil rights violation.

Moreover, lawyers even sue their own law firms for sexism, like a Virginia attorney did this month, see her complaint here.

And, in January of 2016, in California, a male attorney was sanctioned and ordered to pay deposition costs plus a $250 fine for so much as telling a female attorney that it is not "becoming" for her as a woman to raise her voice.  Obviously, it would have been becoming had she been a man - like the speaker was.

And a Maryland attorney was disbarred for offering to find a "sugar daddy" for ex-girlfriend of his client in a child custody proceeding:

"Marcalus' client wanted the woman and their daughter to move into his school district. According to court records, during a discussion of settlement options, the woman jokingly said she would need a "sugar daddy" — a man to pay her bills in exchange for other services — to afford to live in that area.
The complaint accuses Marcalus of later trying to find the woman such a man in text messages, phone calls and face-to-face conversations. The woman testified Marcalus told her he had found a potential sugar daddy who would pay $125 to watch her masturbate."
Of course, that particular attorney was not disbarred immediately. 

Immediately disbarring a sexual predator is not within #MarylandValues.

He was first suspended, for a very short time each time, twice:

"Marcalus' first run-in with the Attorney Grievance Commission was in late 2006, when, according to court records, he was accused of sending a woman sexually explicit text messages and touching her leg suggestively while in a courthouse. He was briefly suspended and then reinstated in November 2007.
Less than two months later, Marcalus told police he had given a woman a Vicodin pill in exchange for a sex act. That incident resulted in a two-month suspension."
Note that selling drugs (giving a drug even for free constitutes a drug sale) in exchange for sex did not result in the lawyer's criminal prosecution.

As to judges and sexual misconduct, in 2012, a judge, Bryan Hedges, was taken off the bench in New York for sexual crime committed against a child before the judge even became a lawyer.  I provide that case only as an example of the position that the State of New York - at least allegedly - took a position that a judge who committed a sex crime should not be on the bench, even though that crime was never prosecuted and when civil and criminal prosecution was precluded by a statute of limitations.  

The real reasons behind that particular case was different, and I wrote about them here.

And, of course, recently Pennsylvania suspended Superior Court Judge J. Michael Eakin who reportedly "sent and received offensive email messages, some containing images of naked women and jokes mocking minorities, women, and others, that have "tainted the Pennsylvania judiciary in the eyes of the public,"  but at the same time suspending the State Attorney General Kathleen Kane who outed the judge and other "entertainers" like him.  Pennsylvania is also attempting to criminally prosecute her and oust her from office.

Those are #PennsylvaniaValues.

All of the above was just a foreword to the story of discipline - or rather - a bonus - that was given by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upon a federal judge of a Waco (Texas) federal court, Walter S. Smith, Jr. who was known in that court for years as an alcoholic and a sexual predator.

That story is intense, fact specific, and was not reported in the press in enough detail.

Moreover, the decision of discipline of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit minimized what happened and did not address the full scope of Judge Smith's misconduct.

I will try to provide full coverage of what Judge Smith and what his personnel did to cover up or even enable Judge Smith's sexual hunt.

Those, I understand, are #TexasValues?

For the full story of Judge Walter Smith, his misconduct and the federal court system's deliberate failure to address that misconduct and criminal behavior - stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment