"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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Janet DiFiore ceremonial fraternity swearing-in gathering at taxpayers' expense - Part II

As promised, I am starting to publish the transcript of the swearing in ceremony of Janet DiFiore into her position of the Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals.

I will go slow.

It's a lot of work - and, as you will see - a lot of information to digest.

I am trying to not just provide a transcript, but to interlink information about each introduced person.

This blog covers only 5 minutes and 16 seconds of the 47 minute 31 second's video of the swearing-in ceremony.

I will transcribe the video further and provide the transcripts, by parts, in my later posts.  

Now, for the transcript (with comments and background information for introduced individuals).


This is the NYS Court of Appeals' judge Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., the chief sycophant at Janet DiFiore's swearing-in ceremony held on February 8, 2016 in Albany, New York, at taxpayers' expense.

In the transcript of the swearing-in ceremony of the now-Chief Judge of New York State Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore that will follow, note how many extolling epithets this man lavishes upon those invited by DiFiore to attend her swearing-in ceremony.

I will highlight the epithets in color. 

Judges and lawyers are supposed to use the strict and sometimes boring language of the law.

You do not expect such an outpour of verbal embellishments and flattery from the lips of a hardened trial lawyer and longtime judge.

But here it is.  Nothing like greasing your way into your bosses heart, I guess.

I will highlight Judge Pigott's flattery in pink - an appropriate color for flattery, I think.

Here is the transcript of the swearing-in ceremony:

Judge Piggott:  

It's now my duty to call this wonderful session to order.

We are just overjoyed at the thought of having Judge DiFiore as our Chief Judge.

As you can see, Judge DiFiore invited a host of members of her family, a few friends (laughter in audience) to come to this.

She asked me to, please, introduce everyone (laughter in audience, see facial expressions of Pigott, DiFiore and Cuomo at that statement, they are laughing, it's obviously intended to be funny, please, also note that in this COURT "session", Cuomo is sitting on the bench, as part of the court - while he has cases litigated in front of that court as an attorney and a party).

Everyone who needs to be introduced, please stay seated (laughter).


First of all, let me acknowledge the family of our new Chief Judge, her husband - and I ask you to, please, stand because we want to see you - husband Dennis Glazer, Dennis, welcome to the Court of Appeals.

(Long applause).

Daughter Alexandra and son-in-law Matthew, please, stand and be recognized (applause).


The handsome groom...

And sons Joseph and Michael (the sons stand).  Welcome.

Your hands are going to wear out, I am telling you, you people applaud like that...

We obviously also have the great Governor of the State of New York here on the right Andrew Cuomo, thank you, Judge .


My favorite Lieutenant Governor ... Judge... Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Kathy, would you, please, stand and be recognized (she does stand, applause).

Also from the Governor's office we have his counsel Alfonso Davis... David, excuse me (applause).

(Alfonso David is reportedly "the 3rd most powerful person in Cuomo's office, after Cuomo and Hochul - T.N. ).

And William Munrow, Secretary of the Governor.

William, thank you for coming (applause).

Before I get to the other big people there (points into the courtroom), I want to introduce my colleagues up here.

First of all, from the Big Apple, we have Jenny Rivera, Judge Rivera 

(applause, Cuomo turns around to Judge Rivera, and casually stretches out his hand for a handshake with her, which Judge Rivera accepts, Judge Rivera is New York State Attorney General's former attorney, and thus, a former attorney of Andrew Cuomo (who was also an Attorney General), his  former subordinate, and Judge Rivera is also a former law clerk of the now-U.S. Supreme Court justice Sonya Sotomayor, the appellate court to the New York State Court of Appeals, and a former clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit - which, for the court, covers all bases in lawsuits and appeals, through personal connections).

Judge Rivera is our law professor.  

She keeps tryin' a-drag the law into everything we're doing (laughter).  One of those (laughter)...

Also from New York City, from the 1st Department, the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Judge Abdus-Salaam (applause; Judge Abdus-Salaam is Cuomo's recent appointee - T.N.).

Not to worry, we have somebody from Albany, the Honorable Leslie Stein (Cuomo's recent corrupt appointee - T.N.):

Judge Stein... (applause)

And weird or not, we have another Eugene from Buffalo, the Honorable Eugene Fahey, Judge Fahey (applause; Judge Fahey is a recent Cuomo's corrupt appointee - T.N.):

Now a little bit of CLE here, continued legal education...

As most of you, I think, know, the Court of Appeals, is the Administrative Board of the courts, runs the entire court system.

And the Administrative Board is made up of five people:

  • our Chief Judge (familiarly and condescendingly taps Janet DiFiore on the shoulder);

  • and the four PJ's (I guess, that's the jargon standing for "Presiding Justices of the 4 intermediate Appellate Divisions - T.N.), and I would like them to stand and be recognized.

From our 3rd Department, our Senior Presiding Justice Karen Peters, Judge Peters.

And our shining new PJ from the 4th Department the Honorable Gerald Whalen, Justice Whalen.

Now, you may have noticed, when I introduced my colleagues up here, I introduced them as "judges".

When I introduced people over here (points at presiding justices of the 4 Appellate Divisions), PJ's, they are "justices".  

Now, one of the people that I sat with for along time was Judge Samuel Green who was constantly reminding me that there is no justice in the Court of Appeals. (Laughter).

They are the justices, we are the judges.

He also used to say that we were not last because we were right, we are right because we are last. (Laughter).

But, the four PJ's, as you know, they preside... They get 2 000 a year.  

We get 200 and...  (technical glitch in the video ate some words at 4:04).

2000 apiece... 

We get to pick our cases (not true - T.N.), they don't.

They are very tired, and they are very hard-working people.  

And they then work with Judge DiFiore in running the entire court system.  

Now when you have a Board of Directors, an Administrative Board like that, you need somebody who execute (Judge Pigott pronounced the word "execute" with an emphasis and a lop-sided smile, a very funny word, I guess - T.N.) those,

and we have the Chief Judge of the Office of Court Administration, who is also with us this afternoon.  

Judge Larry Marks, Judge Marks.

People who work with the Chief Judge in our Court Administration, we have a number of Administrative Judges, one of them is a former Administrative Judge of the 9th District is with us today, and I would like to recognize Judge Frank Nicolai, Judge Nicolai (smiling and stretching his hand out to "Judge" Nicolai).

(Francis A. Nicolai was not a judge at the time of the ceremony, he was a private practicing attorney working for a law firm that has a large appellate practice division that appears in front of the NYS Court of Appeals - T.N.).

We also have some...

This is a great honor for you (taps Janet DiFiore again)

We also have some former members of the Court of Appeals with us today.

The Honorable Joseph Bellacosa is with us.  That's Judge Bellacosa!  (Applause). 

(Bellacosa is apparently a friend of Cuomo's recently deceased father Mario Cuomo, and at the time Judge Pigott addressed him as a Judge, Bellacosa was as much a judge as you and me, he was a private attorney and a professor of law, he retired from the bench 17 years ago - T.N.).

I told you your hands are going to get tired.

Judge Howard Levine is with us.

(At the time Judge Pigott called Howard Levine "Judge Howard Levine", Howard Levine was a private attorney and a retired judge, appointee to the NYS Court of Appeals by Andrew Cuomo's father Mario Cuomo

Howard Levine, as a private attorney working at Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP, where he handles, among other things, appellate practice;  

Levine also admits on the website of his law firm, as part of his and his law firm's attorney advertising, that he was the Chair of the New York State-Federal Judicial Council in 2000-2002, while the New York State Court Administration refuses to satisfy my FOIL request about records of that shadow quasi-governmental organization
by claiming they do not have them.

Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna also appears to be a law firm of choice for the New York Commission for Judicial Conduct - it hires its own attorneys out of that firm:

and has its "founding partner" Michael Whiteman appear for 14 consecutive years from 2014 to 2000 /see the Commission's annual reports/ as a referee of the Commission for Judicial Conduct where his former employee Cheryl L. Randall is the "senior attorney" - not too crooked, right? And I just got the review of referee lists of the Commission of Judicial Conduct until 2000, I have over 30 more years' worth of those lists to go - T.N.).

Judge Levine, thank you so much for coming!


Really, thank you for coming - and we will see  how "Judge Levine" and other "honorables" who get to be invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Judge DiFiore, fare with their business in that same court.

I will keep posting transcription, with comments and background information, of the swearing-in ceremony.


  • of relentless brown-nosing;
  • sycophanting to DiFiore, and at the same time male-shauvinist condescension (repeatedly tapping DiFiore, stressing Karen Peters' "senior" age - now, I am far from being a friend of Karen Peters, but I cringed when I heard that she is a "Senior" judge, where there was nothing "Senior" about her position, but her age);
  • vulgar jokes about justice;
  • "celebrating" private attorneys who practice before the court as "judges";
  • celebrating the appointing Governor and his 2nd and 3rd people-in-chief, as well as people appointed by Governor's late father.

JUST FIVE MINUTES of the "cream" floating to the top.

Judge Pigott obviously was in his glory, and was obviously not seeing anything bad in how he was behaving, on video, for the whole wide world.

You might see now why the New York State courts resist so fiercely against videotaping of court proceedings.

Those idiots cannot even behave in a civilized manner for 5 minutes.

There will be more, I will keep transcribing this 9-day wonder.

I would like to end this post with the statement that can be put on top of each court of the New York State "Unified Court System":

"We were not last because we were right, we are right because we are last. (Laughter)."

Stay tuned.

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