"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.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Carl Becker's friend, the Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields, strikes at Barbara O'Sullivan's family for bailing her out

Right after I ran a blog post that the Delaware County is withholding bail money posted by the family of my friend Barbara O'Sullivan,  the Delaware County Treasurer reportedly released SOME, but not all bail money to the family of my friend Barbara O'Sullivan - $300 were reportedly withheld as the Treasurer's fee ("poundage"), despite the fact that criminal charges against her were dismissed because:

1) the underlying arrest warrant was falsified by Judge Richard L. Gumo of Delhi Town Court, who was most recently admonished for misconduct by the NYS Judicial Conduct Commission (discipline didn't help him change his ways, I guess); there is a separate court decision by Judge John F. Lambert calling Gumo's testimony in Barbara's proceedings "was totally confused or disingenuous in his sworn testimony" - a not-so-subtle doublespeak for "perjury";

2) criminal charges against Barbara (that she allegedly had a dog bite a police officer who came to arrest her, with two other officers, to her lonely house in the woods at night after dark) had to be dismissed, because legality of officers' presence on the property and legality of the arrest warrant they allegedly had to "serve" upon Barbara and to arrest her - went out the door with Gumo's testimony and Judge Lambert's decision.

The County was already sued for withholding bail money once, and had to release bail to my client in Shields v Carbone, after two appeals, and sanctions imposed by Judge Becker, naturally, upon me, for asking him to recuse - not the County.

I guess, the County is asking for more lawsuits - that the homeowners of Delaware County, the captive cash cows (myself included), will have to fund.

Given that the whole criminal charges were precipitated against Barbara O'Sullivan: 

  • because of personal animosity of the now-quickly-retired Judge Carl Becker against her since Barbara exposed Becker's misconduct in People v Glenford Hull's murder trial in 2006; 
  • criminal charges were brought against Barbara by Becker's close friend Northrup (close friendship got revealed only in January of 2016);
  •  and by Becker's former law partner or associate John Hubbard (employment at Becker's law firm by Hubbard was revealed in January 2016 and April 2016); 
  • Becker's name was somehow on the bail receipt when Barbara was released from jail, even though Becker pledged recusal from Barbara's cases long time ago, which precipitated dismissal of Barbara's federal civil rights case against him,
  • since Becker's close friend/girlfriend Beverly Shields managed to kick Barbara's family again, even after the dismissal, by withholding $300 in "poundage" when releasing bail, 2 months after dismissal of charges on jurisdictional grounds - Becker's footsteps are all over Barbara's case.

See the bail receipt in Barbara's case - appearance listed is in front of Judge Becker, who was nowhere near the case, but who, apparently, handled bail issues and monitored the case anyway.

And, Becker's conflicts of interest in handling a previous botched up bail exoneration case, where he manipulated exoneration of bail in a criminal proceeding to please a high-ranking public official who handled complaints against Becker, comes to mind.

Here is a non-final list of conflicts that started to come out slowly during People v Carbone and Shields v Carbone proceedings, and which continue to come out until this day.

  • Becker's personal hatred against me and my husband;
  • Becker's personal  hatred against my close friend Barbara O'Sullivan based on animosity that arose long time before Barbara and I even met, the animosity that Becker fully applied to me and my family;
  • Becker's animosity against my legally blind now-former (because of the suspension only) client whom Becker criticized in open court in criminal proceedings for being "not as blind as he pretended to be" /the client was legally blind, as ruled by a team of physicians/, after I exposed Becker's misconduct (and stupidity) in accepting a plea of guilty from a legally blind man who said, at the urging of his prior counsel, twice, on record, that he "drove the truck" - which he not only could not physically do, but could not do also because another person was convicted for speeding for driving that same truck on that same occasion - apart from those interesting details, Becker had FIVE more undisclosed conflicts of interest (that I know now, there may be more):
  • Becker's fear to hurt the feelings of the dismissed prior defense counsel, who at that point was the Vice-Chair of the NYS Commission of Judicial Conduct Stephen Coffey - I bet, Becker could have claimed a Guinness Book record of complaints filed against him and had to have the Vice-Chair of the Commission on his side, law or no law;  I did not know of Stephen Coffey's position at the time I argued against him and, obviously, earned myself a powerful enemy (Coffey quietly resigned from the Commission after I started to raise issues of corruption involving him - for which my license was suspended - and then, after I raised the issue of Coffey advertising his participation in the Commission to drum up business, quietly removed any mentioning of him ever being on the Commission from his website, as the Commission removed such mentions from its website - while Coffey's law firm and its partners continues to be the focus of scandals involving unethical behavior of its partners);
  • Becker's friend and former boss of 23+ years, then-County Attorney Richard Spinney, represented the Plaintiff, Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields, and admitted on record to a prior ex parte communication with Becker, that Spinney (came to Becker's office or called) to discuss - guess what - exoneration of bail.  That discussion produced a, what Judge Fitzgerald of Delaware County Supreme Court called "unusual" bail exoneration order (which the 3rd Department reversed on the law, twice) - and embroiled the County, at taxpayers' expense, into litigation that lasted from 2009 to this day, with, so far, two trips to the Appellate Division on the issue of bail, where I won on both trips; see here and here;  when Spinney admitted to an ex parte with Becker, according to Mr. Neroni who was present at that hearing (I wasn't), Becker went pale and nearly fainted - but did not recuse;
  • Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields "came out" as Becker's close personal friend or girlfriend in Becker's election campaign of 2012, after Becker recused from the Shields v Carbone case in August of 2012, without vacating his decisions tainted with his multiple conflicts of interest

Becker's invisible hand continues to rule issues pertaining to Barbara, I guess - by pulling the strings of influence through his friends, he still hurts Barbara or her family.

Well, obviously Delaware County officials want to play their game and show, to the bitter end - or no end - how pissed county officials are with what happened, that they could not nail Barbara O'Sullivan and pack her off to prison, with a D felony conviction, for up to 7 years, as Becker obviously wanted.

We will see who will have the last laugh though.

I will post further whether the County returned the unlawfully withheld $300 to Barbara's family.

Stay tuned.

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