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:
- imposing sanctions upon my husband in other cases,
- imposing an anti-filing injunction upon my husband for raising constitutional issues in several civil rights lawsuits, including two counseled pending lawsuits,
- suspending my law license and
- 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":
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:
- immunities etc.
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,
6) Barclay Damon partner is on the NDNY's disciplinary Committee (J. Eric Charlton):
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)
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.
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.