I mentioned that, as in previous rules, attorney regulation in New York is regulating what is not defined by law ("practice of law", "unauthorized practice of law"), so the whole regulation is a sham.
I also mentioned that the way it is done is a sham, too, because Judge Lippman's new rules (issued on December 29, 2015) perpetuated the scheme where unsupervised market players handle attorney regulation, which is a violation of civil and criminal Sherman Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Trade Commission made determinations about occupational regulatory schemes run this way in February of 2015 and in October of 2015, respectively.
Since (now retired) Judge Lippman imposed super-majority of unsupervised market players as regulators of their own legal profession as a uniform "court" rule, he openly defied federal law.
Moreover, since consumers (whose alleged "protection" is heralded as a justification of attorney regulation in the first place) are not allowed any opportunity for a decisive vote in attorney regulation (because of super-majorities of attorneys on regulatory boards), attorney regulation is a sham for that reason, too.
It is simply an elaborate smoke screen, perpetuated by Lippman, to protect the legal protection, which Lippman was re-joining on retirement, from competition.
Lippman so far illegally formed a PAC (financed by the just-convicted Sheldon Silver's law firm) to advocate for the change of the New York State Constitution in order to add 10 years to his "service" on the New York State Court of Appeals - New Yorkers rejected that possibility at a referendum.
That was self-serving enough, and donations by leading lawyers and law firms to that PAC, in order to keep Lippman in power for 10 more years, looked pretty much like a bribe.
Now, Lippman issues rules that provides iron-clad protection for him as a now-private licensed attorney from competition.
As self-serving an act as you can expect from Lippman.
Of course, restriction of competition by private cartels hurts consumers.
Of course, Lippman acknowledged that 2 mln New Yorkers every year cannot afford an attorney.
Of course, Lippman claimed at every corner that if "we cannot close the justice gap, we should just as well close our courthouses". I was at a law school graduation where Lippman personally delivered that adage with me as a witness, and he did it several times before that and several times, as far as I could find on the Internet, after that graduation.
I do not see courthouses closing, even though:
- the "justice gap" remains there for years and decades, even though
- attorney regulation continues while being
- regulation of the vague and amorphous concept of "practice of law" which is not defined in the law,
- regulation for purposes of restriction of competition,
- regulation that gives consumers absolutely no say in how they are "protected", or, rather, how the market of legal services is protected by representatives of big law firms who sit on disciplinary committees from their competitors, solo individual attorneys who provide legal services at a reduced price and pro bono.
Lippman also advocated for judicial pay raises and raised judicial salaries twice, while the previous salaries were more than adequate.
With this appeasement, Lippman is a hero of New York judiciary and can count on a lucrative post-retirement position, either as some "hearing officer", or "consultant", or "expert", or lecturer, or a partner in a law firm that will be touting him to get favorable decisions from courts - at a financial gain to Lippman, of course.
Lippman's "legacy" is also described here as an elaborate set of deals orchestrated through Lippman by his just-convicted buddy Sheldon Silver.
Yet, because of Lippman's high position from which he retired, of New York State Court of Appeals judge, and because the necessity for members of the legal profession to brown-nose judges for survival, New York legal elite and judiciary, who received a boon from Lippman through judicial pay raises and the new rules issued on December 29, 2015, claim that Lippman is a great jurist who left behind himself a great legacy.
Yet, the only great legacy Lippman is leaving behind himself is a legacy of corruption and, same as his buddy Sheldon Silver, of making public service a private fiefdom.
In that Lippman excelled.
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