"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.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Criminal and child abuse cases in Delaware County, NY, from January 2002 to July 2015 are contaminated by undisclosed conflict of interest between the retired judge Carl Becker and attorney John Hubbard

According to ethical rules of judicial conduct, a judge should either recuse from cases where his former law partner appears, or disclose the fact that one of the attorneys is the judge's former law partner, and give all parties in the case an opportunity to move to recuse the judge.

There is no cut-off date as to when the judge should stop considering recusal from cases where his former law partner or his office appears, and that is especially true for law partners from partnerships in rural areas where such relationships are deemed especially close.

On January 12, 2016, the local Delaware County newspaper "The Walton Reporter" reported the following:

"Delaware County's Acting District Attorney John Hubbard, of Stamford, introduced himself to board members. Due to procedures in place, Hubbard said that because of his position as Chief Assistant District Attorney, he automatically became Acting District Attorney when former District Attorney Richard Northrup Jr. left his post to assume the role of Delaware County Court Judge.

Hubbard, who previously shared a private law practice with former Delaware County Judge Carl F. Becker (who abruptly retired in July), became the chief assistant district attorney in 2006. He will hold the position for one year."

I do not know where the Walton Reporter got this information, but this information was upon my information, NEVER disclosed by Becker, Hubbard or his boss Northrup for 12.5 years (!) that Becker was on the bench and presided over criminal and child abuse cases where Hubbard and his employer Northrup/Delaware County District Attorney's office, appeared in front of him.

My husband Frederick J. Neroni has practiced before Judge Carl F. Becker in criminal and child abuse cases in Delaware County from 2002 to 2011.

I practiced in front of Judge Carl F. Becker in criminal and child abuse cases from 2009 to 2012 (when Becker recused from all of my cases).

At NO time either Becker, or Hubbard, or the Delaware County District Attorney Northrup disclose to us that Hubbard is Becker's former law partner.

At no time did the just-retired Delaware County Judge Carl Becker recuse from criminal cases where his former law partner John Hubbard, or his office, the Delaware County District Attorney's office, appeared - and that covered not only criminal cases, but also child abuse cases where the County District Attorney is a necessary party by statute.

Only on January 12, 2016 it was reported that John Hubbard finally confessed to HAVING BEEN the law partner of the already retired ("abruptly") judge Carl Becker, and only when he got elevated to the position of the Acting Delaware County District Attorney due to election of Richard Northrup to the position of a judge.

Of course, I will be turning in the entire "trio" into the attorney disciplinary authorities - for Becker and Hubbard, and into Commission for Judicial Conduct - for Northrup.

Imagine how many criminal and child abuse cases they contaminated with their non-disclosure.

I will also write to the New York State Attorney General requesting removal of Richard Hubbard from his position as Delaware County Judge since he failed to disclose to the voting public this interesting detail that could have led to an entirely different result at election. 

First, had local attorneys known about Richard Northrup's misconduct that contaminated all criminal and child abuse cases in Delaware County from 2002 to 2015, more likely than not, Northrup would not have run unopposed, as he did.

Second, voters could be disgusted to vote for him and would have voted him down, as they did Porter Kirkwood, another of Carl Becker's "nominees".

I will report on this blog answers from these authorities.

Stay tuned.

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