"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.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Clients and potential clients beware of attorney Woodruff Carroll - he is selling out his clients

On November 13, 2015 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York issued a scheduling order and scheduled for trial a civil rights case I was litigating by that time for 3.5 years, against Chenango County Department of Social Services, its Commissioner and its social workers.

The case, Argro v Osborne, 3:12-cv-910 in NDNY survived two motions to dismiss, went through full discovery, including a deposition, and survived a subsequent motion for a summary judgment.

On the same day as the case was scheduled to trial, I was suspended from the practice of law by the State of New York.

NDNY imposed a reciprocal suspension on November 18, 2015.

It may be a coincidence that the attorney for the Chenango County Department of Social Services is on the judicial screening committee of Appellate Division 3rd Department which withheld part of the record of my disciplinary case - or it might not be.

But, coincidence or not, I was eliminated from a case scheduled for trial.

There exists a statute though, 42 U.S.C. 1988, allowing a civil rights attorney to be reimbursed for her legal fees from the defendants, if the trial is to be won.

3.5 years of litigation is a long time, and a high legal fee to be paid by Chenango County.

So, a plan was concocted even further to eliminate such a scenario.

After about 60 attorneys rejected my former client's ready-for-trial case as soon as they heard that it was against social services, my client were "in luck" - they hired an attorney Woodruff Carroll.

Mr. Carroll reportedly, told my former clients that he will not charge them anything, will not get anything from any settlement he would negotiate, but would be paid "$500 by the State".

First, the lawsuit is against the County and not the State of New York.

Second, Mr. Carroll is retained and not assigned, and is not entitled to any payments by the government.

The only plausible explanation of what Mr. Carroll's pending reimbursement "from the State" at $500 an hour no less (no assigned counsel is paid that much by the government), is that Mr. Carroll has sold my former clients to the Chenango County Department of Social Services and is paid by the Chenango County CPS and their attorneys Levine, Gouldin and Thompson, of Binghamton, NY, to reduce a 10-mln-dollar lawsuit into a 35-thousand-dollar settlement, without paying me my legal fees for 3.5 years of litigation.

My former clients reported to me that Mr. Carroll told them that "juries never award a lot of money", because jurors are taxpayers, and that they should better agree to a mere pittance, and that they MUST make their decision by this coming Wednesday.

Here is an example as to just how much a jury awarded, very recently, in a lawsuit against social services - $4.9 mln.

The Argro lawsuit requested $10 mln in punitive damages, and the facts of the case are so bad that more than that may be awarded by the jury.

Obviously, Mr. Carroll does not want to put in any pre-trial work, does not want to prepare for trial scheduled for February 29, 2016.

It is easier to do nothing and to sell your clients out to your opponent, especially such a powerful opponent as Chenango County CPS, for a quick buck ($500 an hour) and a record of a big favor to be returned at a later date.

Mr. Carroll also quite aggressively and without permission or request of my former clients (I checked) gave me an ultimatum that I will not be paid if I do not agree to the settlement Mr. Carroll bought from Chenango County CPS at $500 an hour for himself, and that Mr. Carroll is researching the issue how to deny paying me anything at all,  for my work for 3.5 years of litigation, from 2012 to 2015, at the time I was a fully licensed attorney, because of my suspension in November of 2015.

Of course, Mr. Carroll was not authorized by his clients (my former clients) to threaten me or to give me ultimatums.  Of course, the law on that issue is quite different, and Mr. Carroll, no doubt, knows that, being an attorney of 22 years.

Nor was he authorized to state the following:

Prudent people do not write such things before they research such a sensitive topic.

Mr. Carroll is not prudent, he is arrogant, and he thinks that because I am suspended, I have no rights and forfeited all the fruits of my prior labor - to him.

It is very obvious that Mr. Carroll is dishonestly capitalizing at my expense, since the only reason why he is able to be hired into a ready-for-trial case and why settlement negotiations are even possible, is due to my work of 3.5 years, my filing of a civil rights lawsuit and my perseverance to prosecute it, despite threats of sanctions.

Mr. Carroll also created an impression in my former clients that they are somehow mandated to settle, and to settle on this coming Wednesday.

Of course, I cannot advise my clients, because I was gagged by my suspension, but nobody can preclude me from commenting on illegality of Mr. Carroll's actions, because NOBODY can mandate a settlement of a civil rights action ready for trial, and such a settlement, if mandated or coerced, will simply be not valid.

As to Mr. Carroll, he very clearly attempted to defraud not only his clients, but me, too, and to get rich quick at our expense - after all the heartache that my clients went through and all the work that I put into this case.

Of course, I have no control over how my former clients will decide to act as to the case - whether they will go to trial or will feel forced to settle on terms that their dishonest attorney bought from Chenango County CPS at the price of $500 per hour for himself.

But, I do have a right to go public about misconduct of attorney Woodruff Carroll  ("Woody" as he signs his e-mails to me, a person who he has never seen in his life).

So, clients and former clients of "Woody" - beware how he does his work, check what he claims on your behalf to anybody, and especially in settlement negotiations.

Because you can be sold out by Woodruff Carroll the same way Mr. Carroll is now selling out my former clients in Argro v Osborne, for $500 an hour obviously promised to him by the opponent.

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