"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

New York State Bar Association is worried about the disappearing apple pie

In January of 2016, I wrote on this blog about the position taken by the president of the New York State Bar Association David Miranda - that disbundling, separating legal services from legal information is somehow improper and irresponsible to consumers of legal services.

David Miranda was actually concerned not about consumers, but about the dwindling market of paid legal services for the Association's members.

NYSBA now announced that on May 3, 2016, the New York State Bar Association holds a get-together to discuss the fate of the profession - and charges outsiders a fee of $150.00 to listen to what the speakers have to say about the future of the profession.

The get-together will also give the participants 2.0 credits for Continued Legal Education - so, you've discussed the future of your profession (and of your own livelihood) - you satisfied your CLE obligations designed to protect not you, but your clients.

Very traditional approach by the legal profession - do something for yourself and claim that it is for the benefit of the people at large.

Here are the details of the get-together.

Here is more information about the get-together:

You can see the change of stance taken by David Miranda between January of 2016:

and now:

In January of 2016 Miranda's focus was on the alleged impropriety of actions of "entrepreneurs" who act "under the guise" of giving "access to legal services" (which was not even true, because the "entrepreneurs" in question that David Miranda is so irate against are providing information about the law, not opinions to a certain client about how to resolve that client's particular case - and that's not legal services) provide information about the law to the public "without guidance" (without legal services):

In April of 2016 Miranda's focus is now on

As I said above - nothing like talking about your own disappearing profits while trying to present it as if you are fighting "to bridge the serious justice gap" - which you caused by your monopoly for legal services in the first place.

The good thing though - they are worried.

Change is coming.


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