"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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A disciplinary complaint was filed against the Texas State Attorney General

An attorney filed a disciplinary complaint against the Texas State Attorney General.

As I wrote on this blog, the use of attorney discipline on elected public officials is controversial - just look how it is used as a tool of retaliation on Pennsylvania State Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

What complicates matters is that the Texas Attorney General, same as any other state Attorney General REPRESENTS both the regulating Disciplinary Board and the court that is supposed to rule on his discipline, making the situation decidedly wrought with irreconcilable conflicts of interest.

The conflict of interest thickens when it is obvious that the Texas bar, same as all other bars, state and federal, within the United States, failed to comply with federal antitrust laws and continue "self-regulation" - which is, in fact, an admission to regulation as a criminal antitrust cartel, in violation of federal criminal and civil federal antitrust law, The Sherman Act.

And when the Texas Attorney General, same as the PA Attorney General, same as all State Attorney Generals and the U.S. Attorneys, who are sworn to uphold state and federal laws, must PROSECUTE those violating federal antitrust laws, while other laws requires them to REPRESENT the same public officials as attorneys.

And, of course, the Texas AG - same as the Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane, by the way, same as New York AG Eric Schneiderman, same as all other state AGs - continues to allow local governments to defy federal antitrust laws by allowing the legal profession to be run as a criminal cartel.

After all, the AGs are themselves licensed attorneys and expecting them to prosecute the regulators is requiring from them a self-sacrifice that they might not be capable of.

But, the complaining attorney also brought up an interesting - even though not new - point that the Texas bar is white-washing politically connected attorneys and do not discipline them.

 We'll see whether the Texas bar disciplinary board will dare to prosecute its own attorney.

Stay tuned.

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