"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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Members of privileged class, New York City attorneys caught on videotape in considering possibilities of helping out a corrupt African official with an international money laundering scheme

A couple of days ago a report hit the media that 15 of 16 New York City attorneys, agreed to help in setting up set a scheme to launder dirty money coming from an undisclosed corrupt African official.

See the report directly from the non-profit UK-based group that handled the investigations here and the full-length video interviews of six New York City attorneys here.

Here are our "heroes", New York attorneys whose names I found in the reports:
  1. Lawrence M. Gabe
  2. Gerald Ross
  3. James Silkenat, the recent former president of the American Bar Association
  4. John H. Jankoff
  5. Marc Koplik
  6. Albert Grant
  7. Hugh Finnegan 

In addition to the report and comment on statements of Mark Koplik in the article interlinked above, I would encourage you to listen to the entire video interview with Attorney Marc Koplik, it is extremely instructive - as to what legal elite thinks of themselves as a "privileged class" running the country, setting up its laws, ensuring their selective enforcement in their own favor and obtaining favors from local judges through judges with whom they went to law school, had lunch, are members of the same bar associations, or through local lawyers who know local judges, while they disdainfully consider themselves as "brains" and local attorneys as vehicles to the favors of a local judge with a heartbeat and a law license.   

The main diatribe of attorney Koplik as to lawyers being a "privileged class" starts at around 43 minutes.

"They don't send lawyers to jail because we run the country. ... Still do ... Still do (smiling happily).  

Undercover investigator:  So you are some of them... Two of them...

Koplik:  We are members of a privileged class in this country.

Investigator:  So how... What does it mean you run the country?  It means, you...

Koplik: (interrupting) It means we make the laws, and we do so we make them in a way that is advantageous to the lawyers.

Albert Grant:  we make the laws and, some people say, we selectively enforce the laws.  Laws are facts, you know.  Laws are facts all the time.  You can pass the law, but that doesn't mean the law is going to be enforced.  


Koplik:  another adage is "a good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judge".  In fact, I went to law school in half the judges sitting in New York City, Supreme and federal district courts in New York.  That happens all the way over time.  

People you have lunch with, people who are members of the bar association.  Are they going to throw a case for you?  No.  But are they going to bend over backwards to be courteous to you?  Yes, they are.  

Investigator:  As they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know, right?

Koplik:  That's why for a local jurisdiction it pays to get a local lawyer, even if your brains are coming from New York or Chicago

And, of course, none of these attorneys - who readily agreed to devise schemes how to "scrub" (Koplik's word) the "honest grafts" (Koplik's words, meaning "bribes") of an African minister outside of the U.S. before bringing it in to invest it - at the initial price to Koplik of $50 000 to $100 000 plus an annual fee of $25,000 after that.

That is the price of Koplik's integrity - and that's from only one client.

Because he is sure nobody will discipline him and nobody will put him to jail.  He knows too many judges in the area.

*   *    *

By the way, the only attorney who said "no" to this shady scheme, was attorney Jeffrey M. Hermann.

It Mr. Hermann about 30 seconds to say the following:

"no, I have higher standards than that" and to refuse to refer the "client" asking him to help with a shady money laundering scheme to anybody he knows because people "would be insulted" by such a referral.

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