"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.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yet another (female) attorney suspended for criticizing confirmed judicial corruption - now in Louisiana

When you see something like this:

you invariably think that an attorney must have attacked a judge with a sledgehammer.

Yet, remembering that I was suspended for two years for sanctions imposed upon me for "making threats against the court", which can have the readers believe that I threatened physical violence against a judge, while I simply made a motion to recuse a judge based on record of misconduct and conflicts of interests, and notified the judge that he is a witness in the case and that I intend to call him to testify as a witness, I decided to find the actual disciplinary case of attorney Christine Mire.

And what a treasure it was.

First of all, the "attack on judge" was criticism of CONFIRMED and DOCUMENTED corruption of a judge - including a financial stake in the outcome of a divorce proceedings (the judge's real estate firm was selling the property that the judge was splitting as a factfinder in the divorce case) and falsifying court transcripts (there was unrefuted evidence that the audiofile where the judge allegedly made disclosure of her conflict of interest was sliced, matters were redacted out of there, and other matters were added to it by means of recording equipment that the court did not have available).

Yet, it is not the judge - Phyllis Keaty, of Louisiana, and not the three judges of the appellate panel who covered her up - who lost their law licenses and their judgeships - but an attorney who criticized them in a pleading, fully supported by documentary evidence.

Here is the 38-page disciplinary decision against attorney Christine Mire.

Attorney Christine Mire, for her efforts to do her duty for her client, and for her efforts to do her duty to report judicial corruption and misconduct, got suspended from the practice of law for a year and a day, and ordered to pay the expenses of the unconstitutional disciplinary proceeding against her.

Attorney Mire raised the issue of the 1st Amendment in the case, which the court rejected based on a 1964 case that has nothing to do with content-based regulation of speech.

Strict scrutiny, the required standard for attorney speech regulation, was not used by the disciplinary court.

There was a strong dissent in the case though, clearly indicating that (1) the attorney had objective grounds for her criticism, and that (2) the attorney's criticism of the judges is protected by the 1st Amendment and the Free Speech Clause of the Louisiana State Constitution.

Apparently, the dissent has fallen on deaf ears of the court - but I wonder whether Attorney Mire will appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court and whether the sans-Scalia court will actually take this case.  

High time to take a case of retaliation against critics of judicial corruption, and it is suspect that the court, judges who belong to the same class as those criticized by sanctioned attorneys, would not "exercise their discretion" to hear such cases, leaving such constitutional violations unanswered, their victims without a remedy, the bar intimidated and refusing to make motions to recuse for fear of retaliation, and constitutional rights of litigants to an impartial judiciary not enforced.

I applaud your courage, attorney Mire.  And I wish you luck with the U.S. Supreme Court.  I will gladly provide an amicus brief for you.

I must also point out that our timid press, including the legal press, in its efforts not to misstep against "the honorable" and very powerful judiciary, prefers to choose words in a sensational heading like Law360 did, which could easily be understood that Christine Mire was suspended for doing physical violence to a judge.

But, this very blog exists exactly because the so-called mainstream media is too timid to address issues of public concern - prosecutorial and judicial corruption which are rampant in this country.

I just wrote about a dismissal of fabricated criminal charges against my dear friend Barbara O'Sullivan, here and here.  

I mentioned there that her attorney Joe Ermeti refused to make a motion to recuse, as did his previous attorney Tyner.  

Joe Ermeti is actually the attorney who referred his other client to me back in 2014, with an instruction to his client in a pending case to have me make a motion to recuse for him, because Ermeti did not want to be "blackballed" in a certain judge's court while I allegedly, and in Ermeti's opinion, had "nothing to lose", with the disciplinary proceeding already pending against me.

So, Ermeti recognized that the motion to recuse was warranted and necessary, but did not want to do that for his client in a case where he was an attorney of record and was duty-bound to make that motion.

This is the type of courage that decisions like the one against me, and now against Christine Mire, inspire in our "honorable" legal profession.

All that Mire had to do, same as all I had to do to keep our respective law licenses was shut up and not defend our clients' constitutional right to an impartial judge.

We did not.  We did our duty by our clients.  And we got slammed.  And I wonder when courts will start to realize that what they are doing is very visible and very disgraceful.

By the way, one of the dissenters in Christine Mire's case, Judge Weimer, mentioned that chill. 

With all the cowardly scraping and bowing, the dissenter did more than the "majority", he (or she, I only know the last name) at least stated that Christine Mire's conduct was constitutionally protected and that she should not have been sanctioned for it.

A detailed analysis of the disciplinary decision, including the analysis of attempts of one of the three dissenters to, at the same time, scrape and bow before a judge who was caught in criminal conduct (fabricating court transcripts) and his duty to rule fairly for Ms. Mire, will follow.

By the way, the corrupt judge has made it to the appellate court which refused to discipline her, and instead disciplined the attorney who exposed her misconduct.  

One point that she was especially mad at at Christine Mire was that Christine Mire circulated her writ regarding Judge Keaty's misconduct among her friends and members of the bar during her election campaign.  

Judge Keaty knew she could not win a defamation lawsuit against Mire, because truth is an absolute defense, especially in a case where the allegedly defamed person is a public official, so instead she used attorney discipline as a tool of punishment.  And it worked.  So far, at least.

Here are the pictures of the parties in this sorry story: the panel of the court that refused protection and punished Christine Mire - now including the culprit judge Keaty.

Judge Keaty's election video clip claiming that she is a judge of experience, and "served the community with honor, integrity and distinction".

Well, the clip also says, quite truthfully, that Keaty has 12 years of experience "behind the bench", not "on the bench".   Wheeling and dealing for 12 years - and only caught by Christine Mire who suffered for it while Judge Keaty got promoted.

I presume there was no criminal investigation into the actions of #JudgePhyllisKeaty and whoever helped her to cook the transcripts, nor a larger investigation into how many more transcripts #JudgePhyllisKeaty cooked in her "service" to the community "with honor, integrity and distinction" - "behind the bench".  

The transcripts were apparently fabricated in a professional way, so you have to do it a number of times and involve a number of experts to do it the way it was done.  

The dissenter even mentioned that Judge Keaty's court did not have at its disposal the software or equipment to do the edit of the transcripts.  

Thus, the edit had to be made outside of courts, and the question is - who is doing it.  

And who will be doing it again, since Keaty is emboldened by not being disciplined or prosecuted for fabricating the transcripts, and especially by having the messenger punished and the rest of the bar intimidated?

Remember, Judge Keaty released the sewn-together audio-file to Christine Mire, obviously in full confidence that Mire will not discern the fraud, that the audio-file was actually cooked.

It was a perfect crime.  Not so perfect though, because Christine Mire still was able to prove that the audio-file was sliced, redacted and added to.

So, for her thorough investigation Christine Mire was rewarded - with a suspension for a year and a day, and with costs of disciplinary proceedings awarded against her.

No, Christine Mire did not attack Judge Phyllis Keaty with a sledgehammer.  

She simply stated, on the available record, and to protect her clients rights, that Judge Keaty should have recused, and that what she did was corrupt.  

Which was true.

For a full analysis of Christine Mire's disciplinary decision, including the three dissents - stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment