"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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Don't count on New York State Bar Association to back you up if you are unlawfully pursued by the government

NYSBA assumes that the government is correct, even if it is not so on the face of the decision.

I learnt it today when I inquired whether I could join the NYSBA to attend their CLE program.  

When I was making the inquiry, I sort of predicted the answer.

Yet, I wanted to have the NYSBA answer up-front, at least for purposes of informing the public, including other attorneys who read this blog, members or would-be members of NYSBA, of the principles of the NYSBA (or, rather, lack thereof) reflected in their by-laws.

Even though I am a suspended attorney, I still have the duty of doing my required hours of Continued Legal Education.

First, the NYSBA website turned me down and would not allow me to register online.

I called the number, was re-routed from one person to another, and then the ultimate person told me that, because I am a suspended attorney, I cannot be a member of NYSBA.

My argument that I am still an attorney, not disbarred, only suspended, and that I still have my duty of CLE, did not gain me any ground.

They said - do the CLE, with us, but for money, not as a member, for free.

I asked for their policy about that.

NYSBA sent it to me, here it is:

So,  the bylaws of NYSBA is that they only allow as their members "attorneys in good standing".

That means, even if the orders of suspension or disbarment are void on their face as unconstitutional, they are assumed by NYSBA as valid without looking at them.

Like NYSBA did in my case - where I was suspended for criticizing a judge in motions to recuse (a 1st Amendment violation, Reed v Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. __ (2015), and where the court suspended me because I did not express remorse BEFORE the court made a decision on liability - a pre-judgment and a violation of due process making such a decision void on its face and a nullity.

The bylaws of NYSBA treat such issues of unconstitutionality of disciplinary decisions against attorneys, their own supposed brothers and sisters in arms, easily.

NYSBA simply assumes that the government is right in stripping an attorney of his/her livelihood - and distance from that attorney.

NOBODY precludes NYSBA from accepting as members suspended attorneys.

It would actually help suspended attorneys, stripped of their livelihood, to obtain Continued Legal Education at a reduced rate - and will help their "rehabilitation" if they really did something wrong.


NYSBA wouldn't fight for you, dear members, if your livelihood is unlawfully taken by the government, and won't help you, even with CLEs.

They will not help you to "rehabilitate" either - they will simply distance from you like you have the plague, even though you are perfectly right in what you are doing.

Association with you, if the government is against you, is dangerous for NYSBA's image and image is all that NYSBA cares for.

Remember that when you are considering whether to join this organization.

As soon as you commit a "taboo" misstep - criticize a judge for misconduct - you will be cast out.

As to NYSBA, they lost my business and my money.

I wanted to pay the membership fee - they don't want my money, because they are afraid for their image if they protect attorneys who are unconstitutionally stripped of their living.  Good for them.

I will certainly not pay a non-member fee for NYSBA CLEs.

I will certainly not pay a membership fee should my license be restored.

If NYSBA does not have my back, when I am unlawfully targeted by the government, there is no reason to join such an association.

As to CLEs, there is plenty to be found elsewhere.

Like, for example, here, at a cheaper rate - which I am gladly advertising.

No comments:

Post a Comment