"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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

West Virginia meets New York - retaliation against attorneys for making motions to recuse continues

In February 11, 2015 it was reported that a judge of Supreme Court of the State of West Virginia Robin Davis not only refused to recuse from a case where the opposing counsel bought a jet plane from the judge's husband for 1 million dollars, but turned the attorney who made the motion to recuse in for a disciplinary violation, and that's not the only appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest of that judge, as revealed by investigation by journalists, as reported here.

Judge Davis did not disclose the conflict of interest, and ducked journlists' attempts to get her to reveal her position on the matter.  Then, she made a statement that there was nothing improper and no conflict of interest, and no need to disclose the plane sale.

And, of course, the judge decided for the side whose attorney bought the plane from  her husband, decided with a big-time multi-million recovery.

But, in West Virginia, at least a mainstream media investigation was conducted - and aired.

In New York, journalists have their heads in the sand whenever issues of judicial misconduct are raised - unless, of course, a judge is convicted of a crime, which happens very rarely, if at all.

In New York, I was suspended from the practice of law on November 13, 2015, exclusively for sanctions imposed by Delaware County (now retired) judge Carl F. Becker for making motions to recuse him based on established misconduct.

As to West Virginia, some legal ethics professor have a problem as to appropriateness of the judge's obvious retaliation against the attorney who made the motion.

As to New York, journalists are simply afraid to investigate judicial misconduct.

My numerous requests to journalists for similar investigations of judicial misconduct of Judge Becker (who quickly "retired" from the bench before the end of his term, obviously to avoid being booted for misconduct) were stonewalled or ignored, since 2011.

Finally, in 2014, I went public with my own blog and told my own story of judicial misconduct myself.

That led to criminal charges to be brought against me for going public with statements of about prosecutorial and judicial misconduct (charges were dismissed, but not before they were used to oust me out of the State of New York).

When I share this information with people who do not yet know my story, they do not believe this is happening in America.

Yet, it is happening.

In West Virginia, while the underlying civil case settled out of court, as of July 2015, the disciplinary case against attorney Mark A. Robinson still continued, that was the disciplinary case initiated by Judge Robin Davis in retaliation for his motion to recuse that revealed and made public the purchase of the jet plane by the opposing counsel from her husband during the pendency of proceedings.

I found no further information so far that the case was dismissed, so it still continues.

I wonder when states will start disciplining judges for abusing their power and engaging in retaliation against attorneys for making motions to recuse, which one of New York Appellate courts recognized to be an attorney's 1st and 14th Amendment right to do.

I will post a separate blog about that case, decided in 2009 in New York, stay tuned.

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