"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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Favors by a corrupt judge to a sex offender from the judge's church choir - and sanctions against an attorney who exposed a corrupt judge: cleaning the courts the Louisiana way

It is worth reading this article in its entirety.

It is written by a law professor emeritus from Louisiana.

It was published on May 13, 2015.

It describes a 30-day suspension of a judge who accepted a - guess what? - all-expenses-paid trip to a HUNTING RANCH in - guess where? - Texas - by a party who just won a settlement in his court of $1.2 mln.

Sounds familiar?

#AntoninScalia? #ASSLaw? Hunting trips? Judicial corruption?

Again, it was written long before the Scalia final "hunting" trip.

30 days' suspension for judicial corruption.

And, as I wrote in my previous blogs, a year's suspension with subsequent "probation" for an attorney in the same blessed state of Louisiana - FOR TELLING THE TRUTH about judicial corruption.

Suspended on the complaint of the corrupt judge, no less, a criminal who involved court personnel in fabricating court records to cover up her misconduct.

The criminal was elevated to the appellate level, the attorney who exposed the criminal got suspended.   For telling the truth on behalf of a client.

Any logic?  No logic is needed.

The only part of the article I VIGOROUSLY disagree with is this:

"The great majority of Louisiana’s judges, I assume, are honest. "

In cases of judicial corruption one may not ASSUME. 

Especially when that one is a law professor who knows better and who writes about institutional rules of cover up and unwarranted leniency to admittedly corrupt judges, while the same system punishes whistleblower attorneys who have the courage to expose judicial corruption to do their duty and protect their clients.

What is the BASIS to "assume" that "the great majority of Lousiana's judges" (or judges of any other state, or the federal judiciary) are honest?

  • Judges invented absolute immunity for malicious and corrupt acts in office for themselves, and apply that illegal self-gift far beyond its declared scope - does that sound honest to you?
  • Judges toss majority of comlaints against themselves, thus falsifying statistics, and then claim that, because statistics of judicial discipline (that is within the hands of the judiciary) is low, the "majority of judges are honest".  
  • Judges "regulate" attorneys and regulate them in such a way that they strip those who, even correctly, expose judicial misconduct, based on irrefutable evidence, lose their reputation, license and livelihood.

When creator of statistics falsifies the statistics by not recording events that are supposed to be recorded, by refusing to register complaints about judicial misconduct, by tossing majority of such complaints without investigation or with little investigation - that is not called statistics.

That is called fabrication of image.

And no, no reasonable person should "assume" that judiciary of any state or federal court is honest in its majority -

  • specifically because of self-gifts of judicial immunity FOR MALICIOUS AND CORRUPT ACTS,
  • specifically because of leniency by judges to judges for ascertained acts of judicial corruption,
  • specifically because judges retaliate against attorneys who report true facts on judicial misconduct

And a "Scalia" afterthought - he went on that trip AFTER a judge was suspended for 30 days because he went to a hunting trip to Texas, on a trip paid by a party in litigation who won in the judge's court?


What kind of audacity are we talking about?

At the highest level of the judiciary?

And, by the way, Judge Free who was suspended for 30 days for the all-expenses-paid trip to a Texas ranch (that Professor John S. Baker, Jr. was writing about in his article) is, possibly, facing a suspension again:

this time, for

  • making joking comments about domestic violence as defendants arrested on those charges appeared before him,
  • using mocking language with female defendants,
  • improperly holding defendants in contempt and
  • jailing them without following Supreme Court rules and, in one case,
  • speaking to family members of victims in a vehicular homicide case when the defendant and his lawyer were not present
A 30 days' suspension for misconduct was, I guess, not enough of a "deterrent of future misconduct", for Judge Free.

And, yet another Louisiana judge, James Best (think about it - one is Judge Free, the other is Judge Best, you really cannot make it up) - is now investigated for "cutting short the probation of a sex offender he knew casually from his church choir without notifying prosecutors about a hearing in the case."

A sex offender
a judge casually knows
from a church choir

gets a benefit from the judge

who was previously suspended for corruption - for whopping 30 days.

Oh wow!

And, as Professor Baker says - no amount of legislation will help when existing laws, and principles of honesty, integrity and court neutrality, are not adhered to.

What Professor Baker does not say though - judicial corruption may start to crumble when:

1) cameras are allowed into courtrooms;
2) rules of "frivolous conduct" used by judges as weapons of mass destruction against critics of corruption - are repealed; and
3) regulation of attorneys by judges, infringing upon independence of court representation and also preventing reporting of court corruption, is abolished.

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