"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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Attorney for the New York State Gaming Commission #KentDVanderwall was charged with a felony DWI

The Gaming Commission, I will remind my readers, is the Commission where Governor Cuomo gifted his buddy and likely partner in crime Janet DiFiore's husband Dennis Glazer a seat after DiFiore provided an invaluable favor to Cuomo as the head of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

An attorney of this venerable institution connected with NYS Governor and NYS Chief Judge,  Kent D. Vanderwall, was just charged with a felony DWI after he was reportedly found drunk and with open alcoholic beverages next to him in a van parked against the steps of a daycare center, drunk, with the car still running and in drive.

Here is the "hero":

The police found him after he was reportedly driving erratically from Schenectady to Scotia.

It is sheer luck that he did not kill anybody, including children.

Kent D. Vanderwall was reportedly could not complete field sobriety tests, refused a breathalyzer test, thus forfeiting his driver's license, and fought the police when taken to the police station.

Vanderwall was charged with a felony DWI because he had 2 prior DWI convictions.

I do not believe this is the whole story.

I represented people charged with DWI for years, and know that it is usual to offer a reduction to a violation to first-time offenders where there is no injury to people or damage to property.

Moreover, prosecutors bend over backwards to offer any kind of breaks to attorneys, and especially to attorneys working for the State of New York.

If Vanderwall was actually convicted for misdemeanor DWIs before, there must have been something aggravating, and those DWI conviction may have been preceded by more DWI charges reduced to DAI (driving while ability impaired) violations and thus sealed.

I will follow this case and see whether the State of New York will prosecute its own attorney and whether the State of New York will discipline its own attorney for jeopardizing people's lives by driving drunk.  

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