"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

U.S. Court of Appeals judge Rosemary Pooler is fixing cases for her former law clerk's firm?

I just put in a blog about former law clerks of federal judges employed in a large law firm Barclay Damon, and the undisclosed conflicts of interest this situation raises.

Here are some examples of judicial misconduct that, in my view, put a taint on judicial decisions of federal courts.

Barclay Damon, a successor in interest to Hiscock & Barclay, employs a former clerk of 2nd Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler Daniel J. French.

Judge Rosemary Pooler presided over a case where NDNY not only dismissed my husband's pro se civil rights case, but also awarded draconian attorney fees against him, a civil rights plaitniffs, for raising constitutional arguments - in favor of Barclay Damon's predecessor in interest Hiscock & Barclay.  

On January 30, 2015, Judge Rosemary Pooler affirmed the decision in its entirety, without disclosure of her connection to the law firm, and without a full opinion explaining her reasoning.

On March 2, 2015, Rosemary Pooler also affirmed NDNY decision in Neroni v Becker  (similarly imposing sanctions upon Mr. Neroni - and upon me as his counsel, for making constitutional arguments), where issues of misconduct of Barclay Damon's partner John Casey were raised, and also without a full opinion explaining her reasoning or disclosure about her connection to the law firm.

It is interesting to mention that these two cases, over which Judge Pooler presided on appeal, are the only cases where monetary sanctions were imposed upon my husband and/or upon me by a federal court, once again, for making constitutional arguments - conduct which was invalidated on June 18, 2015 as a violation of 1st Amendment through the U.S. Supreme Court decision Reed v Town of Gilbert requiring to apply strict scrutiny to content-based regulations of protected speech.

Judge Pooler was obviously making sure that sanctions should be affirmed for even mentioning corrupt behavior of her former law clerk's law firm and its partner John Casey - or at least this is how it appears.

See that Mr. Neroni has made arguments pertaining to Judge Pooler's age and potential inability to dedicate enough energy to important civil rights appeal.

The 2nd Circuit struck the brief as untimely because it first prohibited Mr. Neroni to file electronically, and then refused to consider as timely his Reply brief that was timely sent by overnight mail, but delayed by the federal US Postal service.

The elderly judge was reportedly recently involved in an undisclosed health-related "accident", so my husband's concerns about her ability to perform her judicial functions was more than justified.

Yet, the 2nd Circuit court made no disclosures about Judge Rosemary Pooler previously employing as her law clerk an attorney Daniel French from the law firm who is successor in interest to Hiscock & Barclay, beneficiary of Rosemary Pooler's decision described by Mr. Neroni in his Reply Brief.  

It appears that incestous relationships between prominent law firms employing judicial law clerks are not only rewarded, but whistleblowers about such misconduct are most viciously punished, by those same judges who employed the law clerks in the first place.

How can the 2nd Circuit impartially decide the issues of whether NDNY correctly dismissed cases where misconduct of Barclay Damon's attorneys is raised (Bracci v Becker, Neroni v Becker, Neroni v Coccoma), when one of its judges, Judge Rosemary Pooler

  1.  is the former judge of the same court whose decisions (and misconduct) are contested on appeal, and 
  2. actually employed as law clerk, an attorney from that law firm, and presided over appeals in two out of three cases raising issues of the law firms' and its attorney's misconduct?

For development of this particular story - and it will develop, I will make sure of that, stay tuned.

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