"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, March 26, 2016

UPL in its glory - a Pennsylvania woman is convicted for providing unlicensed, but good legal representation to clients for 10 years

Remember, law licensing, as any occupational licensing, is meant to protect consumers of services from bad providers.

Therefore, following that logic, if the provider provides GOOD services, he or she should not be blamed for it.

Especially that what constitutes the practice of law, is not clearly defined in the statutory law of any state within the United States.

Yet, in the glorious state of Pennsylvania, the state where:

in THIS glorious state of Pennsylvania, where the duty of the attorney in order to keep his license is not to do a good job for his or her clients, but to keep mum about misconduct of public officials the attorney is witnessing - a woman, Kimberly Kitchen, was just convicted for providing, for 10 years, legal services as a real estate attorney, while being not licensed as an attorney.

There is no indication in the article about the conviction that the woman did a bad job or that her clients were injured in any way.

The problem is only that she shared her GOOD expertise, and shared it, apparently, well, for 10 years, without permission of the state government and without permission of the lawyers' cartel that operates attorney licensing in the State of Pennsylvania, for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of their clients.

Yes, it is wrong to forge public documents, as she is claimed to have done with her law license.

But, forging public documents, as far as I understand, is not what she was charged for.

The main charge was unauthorized practice of law.

UPL is a "strict liability" offense, which, in my view, is presumptively unconstitutional as an offense where harm to the public does not have to be proven, and it is even more unconstitutional where what constitutes the practice of law is not clearly defined by statutory law of the State of Pennsylvania.

Instead, as in other jurisdictions, Pennsylvania courts tinker ex post facto with particular situations verifying whether this or that act constituted "the practice of law".

Think about it.

Real estate transactions - as every honest lawyer knows - are handled by secretaries, legal assistants and paralegals, often without any participation from an attorney.

It is not even a secret.

But, this rule is simply not followed - and especially if closings are done by mail, which happens all the time, and everybody knows about it.

The woman was caught only because, as I understand, times are tough, lucrative real estate business is declining, together with the economy, and the woman was singled out to eliminate her as a competitor, most likely because she was doing a GOOD job.

By the way, in other countries, such as France and Russia, real estate transactions do not require a lawyer at all, they can be done by notaries.  

In our United States of America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, a woman was convicted of a felony for doing a good job for her clients for 10 years.

Which, to me, once again exposes the sham of occupational regulation.

People should not be convicted of a felony for doing a good job for their clients.

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