"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 20, 2016

State Federal Judicial Councils - the shadow governments of this country - are fixing cases behind your backs and creating laws for their own benefit

I wrote on this blog\about the secret entities called "State Federal Judicial Councils".

Many attorneys, most of them from prominent and politically connected law firms, proudly announce on the websites of law firms that they have been "appointed" (by whom - is never mentioned) to the "Advisory Group of New York State-Federal Judicial Council"), see, for example such announcements by:

Attorney Linda Clark of Hiscock & Barclay, now Barclay Damon of Albany NY.  

By the way, Linda Clark is also part of another secret-membership judge-financing organization American Inns of Court.

You can see my blogs about this organization, here, and here, and here (about the potential such organizations create for ex parte communications with judges and for fixing court cases), and here, and here (about involvement of U.S. Supreme Court judges and their law clerks' expenses-paid international trips funded by the organization's foreign partner), and here, and here, and here,  and here, and here, and here, and here (about a federal lawsuit I filed - since the blog was published, the lawsuit was quickly dismissed as "frivolous" before even the answer was served, by the very court whose judges were involved in misconduct, and the court retaliated by:

  1.  imposing sanctions upon my husband in other cases, 
  2. imposing an anti-filing injunction upon my husband for raising constitutional issues in several civil rights lawsuits, including two counseled pending lawsuits, 
  3. suspending my law license and 
  4. attempting to rob me of statutory attorney fees due me pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988 in a civil rights I brought to trial against Chenango County Department of Social Services for 3.5 years of litigation - that saga is currently developing).

I did not interlink all blogs about American Inns of Court I have written in the over 2 years of existence of this blog.  You can find all of them by putting the words "American Inns of Court" in the "search" window on the right of the blog.

Coming back to our Linda Clark of Barclay Damon

an attorney who, like Sheldon Silver, is handling reportedly handling asbestos litigation, who is "a court-appointed defense liaison counsel in the three upstate jurisdictions spanning most of the Northern District of New York:

Linda Clark is also advertised as an attorney who successfully works with the executive branch of New York State Government

 - why not, when she has access to judges for wining-and-dining them and for ex parte communications through the New York State-Federal Judicial Council (and her other law partners - through American Inns of Court), and is the referee on cases of judicial discipline - imagine the possibilities for fixing cases and influencing judges by both carrot and stick!

Here are Linda Clark's "memberships and affiliations":

Here is the snapshot from a chapter of American Inns of Court 

That same organization's members are secret:

which does not allow to verify whether your presiding judge and your opponent's attorney are part of this organization and meet on a regular basis behind closed doors.

The organization's "teams" are secret:

and their committees are secret, too:

Yet, this particular organization lists as its top officers both federal judges who either presided or continue to preside over several cases my husband and I had - all where adverse rulings were made by Judges Kahn, Peebles or Northern District of New York, possibly, behind closed doors communications with Barclay Damons' partners, who, until May 2015, represented - guess who - Richard Harlem of the Mokay saga, and whose partner John Casey, while on the Commission for attorney discipline of the 3rd Department - while his law firm represented Richard Harlem - chose to investigate and prosecute my husband and myself rather than his own client Richard Harlem, as a clear case of official corruption that nobody in New York or federal government wants to investigate because of the close incestous ties of the law firm with the state and federal judiciary.

Barclay Damon is also part of all kind of "rule-making" and other "committees" of the Northern District of New York Federal Bar listing judges of the court (including Peebles and Kahn) as part of that professional organization.

The federal bar, as you can find here, exists to "provide a forum to promote a more effective exchange of ideas between the practicing bar and the federal court".  

In other words, the federal bar exists to provide a means of ex parte communications between participating attorneys (as opposed to non-participating attorneys and pro se parties) and presiding judges of the court.

Linda Clark is also a referee presiding over cases of judicial discipline in the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct, upon my review of annual reports of that Commission (list of referees who "served" in each year is available in annual reports that can be found on the Commission's website, by the way, I copied them and have them on file, so, please, contact me for any information contained therein if the Commission decides to take them off their website).

As to the federal bar, please, note second from right - federal Judge Mae D'Agostino.

Several months ago, I filed a FOIL request with the New York State Office of Court Administration:

Since so many attorneys from prominent law firms were so proudly announcing that they have been "appointed" to the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, since, according to that council's member former judge Jack Weinstein, the Council exists to smooth out "friction" between state and federal judiciary (which statement cannot mean anything but fixing civil rights cases where the "friction" comes in the form of a civil rights case before a federal judge where a state judge is a defendant), and since the "smoothing out friction" in the form of federal court-created bars to civil rights litigation against state government and especially judges, such as:

  • abstensions;
  • deferences;
  • immunities etc.
started to pop up exactly around the time when the State-Federal Council was first created - with the blessing of the then Chief Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court - I filed that FOIL request to verify elementary information about this obvious merging part between the state and federal judicial branches of the government.

After much stalling, here is a SINGLE document that I received in answer to ALL of my inquiries above, about a shadow organization that obviously wields tremendous influence over both state and federal judiciary, consists of state judges, federal judges and some attorneys (who volunteer their participation) known, but most unknown, an organization with unknown form, it is not listed as a non-profit in New York, NO information is available from any sources about it rather than statements of SOME of its proud members that they are the proud members of the organization's "Advisory Council", see the proud announcement for such appointments for:

1) Linda Clark, Hiscock & Barclay, now Barclay Damon;
2) a mysterious announcement on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York that the New York State-Federal Judicial Council adopted something

3) that this mysterious organization, together with the New York State Bar Association, present some Continued Legal Education programs, so this State-Federal Judicial Council must have state accreditation from the New York State, which will be the subject of an additional Freedom of Information request, state and federal - especially where it is clear that not only New York state and federal judiciary on the district court level are acting in concert, but that they involve also the similar "council" at the appellate court level;

4) Attorney Robert Guiffra of Sullivan and Cromwell, LLP announces "appointment" to the Advisory Group of the council - 

who appointed Mr. Guiffra and on what criteria, nobody knows, but I will FOIL every confirmed member of the Council separately for records of THEIR participation in the "Council";

5) Hengry Greenberg, of Greenberg and Taurig, yet another prominent law firm whose partners are also consistently chosen to "serve" as referees in the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct that tosses most of complaints against judges, is also the proud member of the "advisory group" of the "Council";

6) Former judge of New York State Court of Appeals Victoria Graffeo was reportedly the Chair of the Council in 1997

7) One of the members of New York State Commission on Public Integrity Daniel R. Alonso, of Kaye Scholer, was or is reportedly on this mysterious "Council" "advising" both state and federal judges while appearing in front of them, deriving his and his law firm's business from their decisions - and while at the very same time checking on their public integrity.  Lovely.

So, while members of New York legal elite parade their participation in the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, to the point of admitting that they participate in "advising state and federal judges" - while their law licenses are regulated by that same judges, while those attorney appear in front of state and federal judges and derive their business in front of them, while such position of "advisors" to state and federal judges disqualifies these attorneys - and their law firms - from appearing in front of state and federal courts - no information but one puny letter dated December 31, 2015, the last day in office of a 70-year old now-retired Jonathan Lippman, is available about the activities of the Council spanning, if we use Jack Weinstein's article as a guide, for over 40 years!

Nothing too creepy, right?

Here is this little gem that the New York State Court Administration cared to cough up in response to my FOIL request above.

Note the mission of the Council admitted by the then-Chief Judge Lippman:

A secret-membership, secret-everything organization where state and federal judges and members of legal elite participate, with a mission "to promote communication between the state and federal courts in New York".

Let's stop right there.

When a judge or a court is a defendant in a federal action, all communications between the state and federal court should be ON RECORD and ON NOTICE to opposing party.  All communications outside of court proceedings "to address issues of common concern between the two systems" during pendency of civil rights lawsuits addressing in federal court constitutional violations in the state court system, is ex parte communication, judicial misconduct and judicial corruption.

So, we have a letter of a now-retired Judge Jonathan Lippman dated December 31, 2015, "appointing" Judge Terry Jane Ruderman of Westchester County Supreme Court to this secret-membership organization presided - lo and behold - by Judge Mae D'Agostino of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Note that Judge Ruderman's participation in the Council is not noted on the judge's official biography listed on the website of the New York State Court Administration (I saved it, so if the NYS OCA removes the biography, feel free to contact me, I will provide you with a copy), and that it took me months to get even that one letter of appointment from the death grip of NYS OCA.

Note that Judge Ruderman is also listed as a Vice Chair of New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct - the organization shredding without investigation most of the public's complaints about judges, without any opportunity to appeal the dismissal, and where members, former members and law firms of members and former members, appear in front of the Commission:

Actually, Judge Ruderman was appointed by Lippman to both the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, AND the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct:

Well, at least Judge Ruderman's biography on the New  York State Commission for Judicial Conduct freely admits her membership in the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, something that her court biography doesn't:

So, how does it work for Judge Ruderman?

Judge Ruderman is untouchable by judicial discipline - because she is Vice-Chair of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, and members of the Commission NEVER, in my experience, disqualify themselves from dismissing cases against them, their courts or their law firms and friends (I wrote on this blog about such failure to disqualify themselves by the now-Chief Judge of the Appellate Division 3rd Department Karen Peters and the previous Vice-Chair of the Commission attorney Stephen Coffey of O'Connel & Aronowitz, P.C.).

Judge Ruderman is officially engaged in ex parte communications with state and federal judges, likely those state judges appearing in front of her in the Commission and those that are secret participants in the State-Federal Judicial Council.

Judge Ruderman likely presides over cases where attorneys in front of her are "advisors" to the state and federal judiciary through such a council, where Judge Ruderman is herself a member, and, is possibly engaged in ex parte communications with such attorneys behind the back of their opponents in litigation.

Judge Ruderman, if sued in federal court, will receive every leniency there is, and then some, including the federal court-invented deferences, abstentions and immunities, and a possibility to participate, ex parte, in communications with the federal court through state-federal judicial council.

What can I say.


Lippman's letter mysteriously says that the council "sponsors projects and educational programs related to its mission".

The mission - look up the link with Jack Weinstein's article above - is to make "occasional decisions that slightly modify the law so as to eliminate sources of friction between state and federal law officers" - which obviously includes judges and other state defendants appearing in federal courts.

Thank you, the New York State Court Administration, for at least confirming that Judge Mae D'Agostino of NDNY (one of presiding judges who dismissed my first federal case in that court, Bracci v Becker, after which all of the Plaintiffs - I, my husband Frederick J. Neroni, and my clients Alecia Bracci and Barbara O'Sullivan - suffered repercussions from Becker and/or his cronies) is part of the case-fixing council.

So, New York State Court Administration admitted that Chief Judge Lippman did participate in appointment of judges to this council, and that such appointments were obviously considered as part of his official duties - otherwise the letter wouldn't have been released in response to my FOIL request.

But, even though the council is admittedly part of New York Chief Judge's official business, none of my other questions for records about this "official business" - since 1970s - were answered in response to my FOIL request by New York State Court administration, making one wonder even more - what kind of case-fixing mysteries lay beneath New York State Court Administration's stalling tactics?

Please, note, my dear readers, that these "councils" were planned for ALL states, so New York is just a not-so-shining example of what is going on behind closed doors between state and federal judiciary throughout this country.

By the way, the current Chief Judge of New York State Janet DiFiore is a defendant in a federal lawsuit in front of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, Judge Kahn (officer of the American Inns of Court) with Judge Peebles (officer of the American Inns of Court) presiding.

Judge Mae D'Agostino, the now-admitted Chairperson of the secret New York State-Federal Judicial Council, an organization which, according to confession of its member former judge Jack Weinstein, was formed to "relieve friction" between state judiciary (defendants in civil rights cases in federal courts) and federal judiciary (presiding judges in such cases) - was an invited guest to Judge DiFiore's confirmation - while the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, of which D'Agostiono's is a judge, handled a motion to vacate dismissal of the lawsuit against the Chief Judge of the State of New York.  

Now that it is revealed that D'Agostino was also a Chairperson of the New York State-Federal Judicial Council at the time of her attendance of Defendant DiFiore's swearing-in ceremony, the case-fixing possibility because a gruesome reality.

I was advised by New York State Office of Court Administration (NYS OCA) that the letter you see above is the only record that NYS OCA has about this Council, and advised me to contact the federal court - may be, they have more than New York State court does.

Of course, I will file an administrative appeal for the constructive denial of records by NYS OCA.

Of course, I will contact #JudgeMaeD'Agostino with a separate Freedom of Information request.

Of course, I will also contact federal authorities to investigate whether records pertaining to this case-fixing not-so-little organization between New York State legal elite, state judges and federal judges, were simply destroyed so that not to show the extent of corruption going on, in response to my FOIL request.

In view of the recent scandal with #AntoninScalia's death during one of his litigant-sponsored hunting trips where members of a secret "hunting lodge" were also present, membership of judges in secret-membership organization, with its potential to fix cases, finally came to the spotlight of the American public.

I will continue to cover this case and publish responses of various government organizations to my inquiries.

And - did I mention that Barclay Damon, the law firm whose partners:

1) a Barclay Damon partner John Casey recently was on the Professional Conduct Committee of the Appellate Division 3rd Department regulating attorneys (John Casey);  as part of that Committee, John Casey saved from prosecution (and then employed) Cornelia Cahill, wife of Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Claims Richard Sise, and saved from prosecution former judge Robert Harlem, his son Richard Harlem and their law firms for fraud upon the court - and instead prosecuted the whistleblowers against the Harlems, both of them (me and my husband);

3) a Barclay Damon partner is a referee of many years on the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct (Linda Clark);

4)a Barclay Damon partner is an officers, along with two federal judges from the court where Barclay Damon practices, in the American Inns of Court for Intellectual Innovation (Douglas Nash);

5) Barclay Damon partners are on FIVE committees of the Federal Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (Gabriel M. Nugent, David M. Cost; Jason C. Halpin; Karen C. Southwick; John P. Langan)

6)  Barclay Damon partners are or were recently officers and trustees of NDNY Federal bar (Michael J. Sciotti - President; Gabriel M. Nugent - Trustee;  Yvonne E. Hennessey and John B. Langan, past Presidents) 

By the way, while partners in Barclay Damon are:

  • officers in American Inns of Court in Intellectual innovation where two of NDNY judges are officers, 
  • members of "Advisory Committee of the New York State-Federal Judicial Council" where Judge Mae D'Agostino, without disclosure to litigants, is Chairperson;
  • members of various committees, including the RULE-MAKING Committee of NDNY Federal Bar,
  • officers and trustees of NDNY Federal bar and
  • employe law clerks of NDNY and appellate federal court judges,
NDNY recently made new patent rules - obviously, with Barclay Damon's participation - of which Barclay Damon proudly announced on its website.

6) Barclay Damon partner is on the NDNY's disciplinary Committee (J. Eric Charlton):

6) Its partner Yvonne Hennessey is the President of the New York  Federal Court Bar Association

7) Several of Barclay Damon partners and associates are former law clerks (some very recent) of judges of Northern District of New York or the higher court, the appellate U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (including presently sitting judges):

John D. Cook - member of NDNY rule-making committee - former law clerk of NDNY former Chief Judge Howard G. Munson (deceased in 2008)

Daniel F. French - former law clerk of Judge Rosemary Pooler, now of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit who was formerly a judge of NDNY court, see also my blog about Rosemary Pooler's non-disclosure of this particular conflict of interest and fixing cases on appeal for her former law clerk's law firm here

Jacon C. Halpin - recent law clerk of the present NDNY Chief Judge Glenn T. Suddaby, see also here about Judge Suddaby's biography.  Jacon C. Halpin is also on the "First Year Committee" of the NDNY Federal Bar, see scan above.

Brittany E. Aungier, law clerk to NDNY sitting judge Frederick Scullin.

Judge Mae D'Agostino presided, without disclosure of her involvement in the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, without disclosure of Hiscock & Barclay/Barclay Damon incestous relationship with the court, presided over one of our cases where both my husband and I were parties, I was the attorney of record for the plaintiffs, and Barclay Damon (then Hiscock & Barclay) partner John Casey's corrupt conduct was mentioned in the pleadings, making him and his firm that employed law clerks of the court a witness in the proceedings, and requiring (1) disclosure from Mae D'Agostino, (2) disqualification of the entire court.

Judge D'Agostino dismissed the case, with insulting language (see her diatribe with a truncated quote from Winston Churchill), and the case was used to impose an anti-filing injunction on my husband, blocking him from filing ANY civil rights actions in NDNY unless he satisfies extremely burdensome and irrelevant, not to mention unconstitutional conditions.

This is just one law firm, and just the tip of the iceberg as to how the judiciary is joined at the hip with well-connected attorneys practicing in front of it.  Judges are members of attorney-financed groups.  Attorneys are members of groups making court rules.  Both are members of groups with secret membership that meet behind closed doors, with a potential of ex parte communications and fixing cases.

Then, cases get decided by the court in favor of the law firm, without disclosure of connection and conflicts of interest.

No discipline will ever reach this law firm, as you understand, no matter what misconduct its attorneys and partners commit, they know too much about judges, judges owe them too much, judges and judicial relatives and former employees get employed in such law firms - so judiciary will not "regulate" these oasises of the legal profession for the benefit of consumers, attorney regulation is all make-believe, because it will never reach the most powerful attorneys, capable of the most damage to their clients and to the public.

Here is my previous blog about another monster law firm in New York, with similar incestous connections to the judiciary.

But, interesting things may happen due to revelation through this little letter disclosed to me by the New York State Court Administration, and more disclosures may follow.

I will keep putting pressure on state and federal authorities for more disclosure about this mysterious "New York State-Federal Judicial Council", its members and activities, and will keep covering the story.

Stay tuned.

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