"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

#MichiganValues - contempt of court for legal advice on constitutional rights, and a judge with a compulsion to chase clients of attorneys who stand up to him

This one is close to my heart, because I am an attorney suspended for making constitutional argument on behalf of my clients, and asking a corrupt judge to recuse in motions, not admitting that my actions constituted misconduct and not expressing remorse for doing my duty for my clients.

This episode happened 5 years ago.

A judge sent a criminal defense attorney to jail for contempt of court.

The contempt of court was attorney's legal advice to his client NOT to answer the judge's inquiry about the defendant's recent drug use because that would violate the client's 5th Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

I recently wrote about such a scheme done through a drug-counseling court orders in New York, in collusion between judges of Westchester County courts and Westchester County DA and now candidate for Chief Judge of New York State Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore.

That was also compelled self-incrimination.  I was the only one in a large courtroom packed with people and packed with other attorneys - who protested on the basis that such an order compelling my client to speak of his alleged drug use, is a violation of his 5th Amendment rights.

I was not sent to jail.

Michigan attorney Scott Millard was.

The judge who did that to him - judge Kenneth Post - got a 30-day suspension in 2013 and public censure.  That is all.

And you know what Judge Kenneth Post did in 2015, "coincidentally", to the client of the same law firm whose attorney Scott Millard he threw in jail in 2011 for doing his job?

Judge Kenneth Post personally called a represented criminal defendant (a no-no) and left for him a threatening voice-mail.

Attorney Blanchard, the same attorney on whose complaint Judge Post was suspended the last time, filed another complaint against Judge Post.

It is clear that nothing short of removal will work with this judge, he is stone-deaf to notions of propriety.

I wonder what Judge Post will do to future clients of Mr. Blanchard - murder them?

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